Bracket Definition and Meaning

Before entering fully into the definition of the term bracket, its etymological origin must be discovered. In this case, we can state that it derives from the French, exactly from “crochet”, which is the result of the sum of two clearly differentiated parts:
-“Croc”, which means “curved iron”.
-The diminutive suffix “-et”.

According to, a clasp is a clasp or closure, made of metal, that allows something to be held or hooked.

In the field of fashion and clothing, the clasp is made up of two pieces that hook together and allow two parts of a garment to be fastened. Hooks are used on corsets, brassieres (bodices), and some pants and skirts.

The idea of a bracket is also used to name a double orthographic sign (since an opening bracket and a closing bracket are always used). These signs allow you to add information that complements a text or that clarifies some aspect of it. If an ellipsis is used inside the bracket, it means that a part of a quoted text is omitted.

The opening bracket is written separated by a space from the sign or word that precedes it. The same is done with the closing bracket with respect to the sign or the word that follows it. As for the signs or the words that frame, they are written glued.

If you want to include a note in a statement written in parentheses, brackets are used: “Hopscotch (novel written by Julio Cortázar [1914-1984]) is one of the great novels of the 20th century”.

To specify that the original text was modified and to indicate that some fragment was omitted when reproducing a text or a declaration, square brackets are also used:

“There are other [paths] today, we are not forced to do the same as our ancestors.”

In addition to all of the above, we cannot forget that brackets are sometimes used with ellipses within them. The purpose of these is to indicate that a part of a text that is being quoted has been left unreproduced.

Likewise, in a poem, the opening bracket is used to indicate that what follows belongs to the previous verse.

On many occasions, the use of brackets, parentheses and braces is confused. However, it is important to be clear about when to use them at all times:
-The brackets are used to mark clarifications in the transcription of an original text, to introduce an additional explanatory note in a text where there are parentheses and to include phonetic transcriptions.
-The parentheses, on the other hand, are used to proceed to intersperse some data or to introduce an explanatory subsection in what is the meaning of the text.
-The keys have to establish that they are used both in diagrams and in synoptic tables to proceed to make groups and classifications of various kinds. In the same way, we cannot ignore that they are used to proceed to express the numbers from 1 to 5 immediately before or after.

In mathematics, braces, brackets, and parentheses refer to the progression of depth in operations: {(8 + 1) x [(3 x 4) + (10/2)]}


About the author