re·​main | \ ri-ˈmān How to pronounce remain (audio) \
remained; remaining; remains

Definition of remain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to be a part not destroyed, taken, or used up only a few ruins remain
b : to be something yet to be shown, done, or treated it remains to be seen
2 : to stay in the same place or with the same person or group especially : to stay behind
3 : to continue unchanged the fact remains that we can't go



Definition of remain (Entry 2 of 2)

1 obsolete : stay
2 : a remaining part or trace usually used in plural
3 remains plural : a dead body

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Examples of remain in a Sentence


Little remained after the fire. Only two minutes still remain in the game. The question remains: who fired the shot? She remained in Boston after she finished college. The soldiers were ordered to remain at their posts. I remained behind after the class had ended. He remained with the team.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

No matter what comes, Seoul remains rife with young talents, who need support to make it onto that international playing field. Monica Kim, Vogue, "The 5 Designers to Know From Seoul Fashion Week Fall 2019," 29 Mar. 2019 Signed nearly 10 years ago, the health law remains in place while the lawsuit continues. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, The Seattle Times, "Dems cry foul as Trump calls for striking down ‘Obamacare’," 27 Mar. 2019 James himself remains very private about his personal life. Samantha Drake, Country Living, "All About James Spader's Very Private Relationship With Leslie Stefanson," 23 Mar. 2019 The aristocratic Spencer family remains still close to the couple. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "All of the Royal Baby Names Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Might Choose," 22 Mar. 2019 That came later, thanks to the designer's protégé, Carleton Varney, who took over her firm in the 1960s and remains the Greenbrier's official Curator/Decorator today. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Inside the Biggest Feud in Interior Design," 22 Mar. 2019 The website, launched in 2012, remains a fizzy romp through various events and personalities, accented with bits of party lore and retro images. Steven Stolman, Town & Country, "How the Salonnière List of the Best Party Hosts in America Is Put Together," 21 Mar. 2019 Access to quality education in the United States remains unequal and unjust, especially for those who need it most. Jenn M. Jackson, Teen Vogue, "Access to Education for Black Children Proves Difficult for Their Parents, Creating a Disadvantage," 13 Mar. 2019 Today, the challenge remains the same, and the payoff just as large. Chuck Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The State of American Trade Schools," 13 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The communities of bacteria that live in our mouths have changed drastically since the Middle Ages, according to a new study of remains buried in a medieval Danish cemetery. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Medieval dental plaque sheds light on how our microbiomes have changed," 25 Nov. 2018 Officials say positive identification of the remains could take years. Benjamin Brown, Fox News, "North Korea possibly constructing new ICBMs, missile program moving on 'business as usual,' official says," 2 Oct. 2018 In many cases, determining the identity of remains is a painstaking process. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "How U.S. Investigators Identify Korean War Dead Using DNA, Corn, and Water," 19 Sep. 2018 Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth Diatomaceous Earth, or DE, is a white crumbly powder consisting of the fossilized remains of diatoms, a class of algae. Rebecca Straus, Good Housekeeping, "5 Ways to Get Rid of Silverfish," 25 July 2018 Inside lay the undisturbed remains of four people, including a man in his 30s, a man in his 50s, a man between the age of 35 to 45, and a woman of undetermined age. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Construction Workers Find Rare Intact Roman Tomb," 13 June 2018 The fact that the remains of Olivia Lone Bear, a Native woman who went missing for nine months, were found in Lake Sakakawea exemplifies this connection between past and present. Ruth Hopkins, Teen Vogue, "Sacagawea Changed the Course of History and Deserves Respect," 11 Jan. 2019 Since 2017, the skeletal remains of more than 40 people have been found in Cabeza Prieta, according to migrant mortality data collected with the help of Pima County’s medical examiner office. Jacob Gershman, WSJ, "Aid for Immigrants on Desert Trek Stirs Religion-Freedom Fight," 6 Dec. 2018 The skeletal remains were found by a construction crew in an area where homes are being built in Anna, about 45 miles north of Dallas. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Human remains found in Texas identified as those of woman who disappeared in 2014," 2 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'remain.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of remain


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for remain


Middle English, from Anglo-French remaindre, from Latin remanēre, from re- + manēre to remain — more at mansion

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Statistics for remain

Last Updated

5 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for remain

The first known use of remain was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for remain



English Language Learners Definition of remain

: to be left when the other parts are gone or have been used
: to be something that still needs to be done, dealt with, etc.
somewhat formal : to stay in the same place or with the same person or group : to stay after others have gone


re·​main | \ ri-ˈmān How to pronounce remain (audio) \
remained; remaining

Kids Definition of remain

1 : to stay in the same place Please remain in your seats.
2 : to stay after others have gone Only one bus remained at school.
3 : to continue to be The weather remained cold. They remained friends.
4 : to be left after others have been removed, subtracted, or destroyed Little remained after the fire.
5 : to be something yet to be done or considered Her innocence remains to be proved.

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More from Merriam-Webster on remain

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with remain

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for remain

Spanish Central: Translation of remain

Nglish: Translation of remain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of remain for Arabic Speakers

Comments on remain

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marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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