Meaning of parenthetical


A parenthetical statement is one that explains or qualifies something. You can call such a statement a parenthetical, (especially when it’s in parentheses).

Have you ever said something like “I’m hungry!” and then added “…but I only want French fries”? That second statement is parenthetical: it clarifies the first statement. Just like words in parentheses (like these words) add clarity to a sentence, parenthetical words in speech help make something clearer or give extra information. You can call these statements (or words that actually are inside parentheses) parentheticals; and while parentheticals aren’t the most important ideas, they help support those ideas.

Definitions of parenthetical
  1. adjective

    qualifying or explaining; placed or as if placed in parentheses

    parenthetical remarks”


    incident, incidental

    (sometimes followed by `to’) minor or casual or subordinate in significance or nature or occurring as a chance concomitant or consequence
  2. noun

    an expression in parentheses

    “his writing was full of

    parenthetical expression

    see moresee less

    type of:


    a construction that can be used to extend the meaning of a word or phrase but is not one of the main constituents of a sentence

Word Family

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