The parenthesis in definitions of words on Cambridge Dictionary confuses me a lot.

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Regarding the one shown above, could I interpret the definition as the combination of following three sentences?

"grammar" usually means the rules about how words change their form and combine with other words to make sentences;

"grammar" could also mean the study of those rules;

"grammar" could also mean the use of those rules.

  • Parenthesis: "1 a : an amplifying (see amplify sense 1) or explanatory word, phrase, or sentence inserted in a passage from which it is usually set off by punctuation // explained further in a parenthesis." Amplify: "1 : to expand (something, such as a statement) by the use of detail or illustration or by closer analysis." It doesn't mean could also; it means to clarify. Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 6:17

1 Answer 1


I think you have interpreted it correctly. The word "grammar" can refer to

(1) a set of rules about words...

(2) the use of that set of rules


(3) the study of that set of rules

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