re·​main·​der | \ri-ˈmān-dər \

Definition of remainder 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : an interest or estate in property that follows and is dependent on the termination of a prior intervening possessory estate created at the same time by the same instrument

2a : a remaining group, part, or trace

b(1) : the number left after a subtraction

(2) : the final undivided part after division that is less or of lower degree than the divisor

3 : a book sold at a reduced price by the publisher after sales have slowed



Definition of remainder (Entry 2 of 3)


remaindered; remaindering\ ri-​ˈmān-​d(ə-​)riŋ \

Definition of remainder (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to dispose of as remainders

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Examples of remainder in a Sentence


2 subtracted from 5 gives a remainder of 3. 5 goes into 29 five times with a remainder of 4.


The book did not sell well and ended up being remaindered.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

By signing a two-way contract, the 6-foot-10, 220-pound Preston can spend up to 45 days with the Cavaliers during the 2018-19 season and spend the remainder of the time with the Canton Charge of the NBA G-League. Gary Bedore, kansascity, "Billy Preston signs two-way contract with Cavs, scores nine in NBA debut," 7 July 2018 Rhoda established a chapter of Literacy Volunteers of America in Glens Falls, and spent the remainder of her life volunteering as a tutor and teaching ESL. Hartford Courant,, "Rhoda Clearwater," 3 July 2018 Even though the Mavericks signed DeAndre Jordan to a one-year deal over the weekend, the team will likely spend the remainder of this free agency period bargain shopping for additional roster pieces. Peter Dawson, star-telegram, "Seth Curry leaving Mavericks to sign with Trail Blazers, report says," 3 July 2018 The koala sleeps about 22 hours a day and spends the remainder of its time eating and resting. Deborah Netburn,, "The koalas are threatened. Can their genome help us save them?," 2 July 2018 The other eight justices spent the remainder of the term wrestling with cases where they were evenly divided. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court’s Conservatives Take Their Long-Awaited Shot at Unions," 27 June 2018 April 18 - Slept until 9 after chow, cleaned the head and spent remainder of morning in LCT. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Service Diary of a Corpsman: Roy L. Wall, LST 509," 28 May 2018 Harshly criticized by Lady Franklin, her close ally, Charles Dickens, and the British press, Rae spent the remainder of his life a controversial figure, his accomplishments never fully acknowledged by his countrymen. Anchorage Daily News, "‘Finding John Rae’ imagines inner life of Arctic explorer who discovered the Franklin expedition’s grisly fate," 26 May 2018 The two adult men then awkwardly planted the little guy, thinking that the tree would spend the remainder of its life in that one spot. Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "Where Did the White House’s Baby Oak Tree Go?," 29 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'remainder.' 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 remainder


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1567, in the meaning defined above


1904, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for remainder


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from remaindre, verb

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Statistics for remainder

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for remainder

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

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More Definitions for remainder



English Language Learners Definition of remainder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

the remainder : the part that is left when the other people or things are gone, used, etc.

mathematics : the number that is left when one number is subtracted from another number

: the number that is left over when one number does not divide evenly into another number



English Language Learners Definition of remainder (Entry 2 of 2)

: to sell (a book) at a reduced price because not many copies are being sold and no more copies will be produced


re·​main·​der | \ri-ˈmān-dər \

Kids Definition of remainder

1 : a group or part that is left She took the remainder of the cake.

2 : the number left after a subtraction 5 minus 3 leaves a remainder of 2.

3 : the number left over from the dividend after division that is less than the divisor 10 divided by 3 leaves 3 with a remainder of 1.



Legal Definition of remainder 

1 : an estate in property in favor of one other than the grantor that follows upon the natural termination of a prior intervening possessory estate (as a life estate) created at the same time and by the same instrument — compare future interest at interest sense 1, reversion

charitable remainder

: a remainder in favor of a charity

contingent remainder

: a remainder that is to take effect in favor of an unidentifiable person (as one not yet born) or upon the occurrence of an uncertain event

called also executory remainder

cross remainder

: either of two or more remainders in favor of two or more persons so that upon the termination of one remainder that share goes to the other or others

executory remainder

: contingent remainder in this entry

remainder vested subject to open

: a vested remainder that is subject to diminution by the shares of other remaindermen (as children born later)

vested remainder

: a remainder in the favor of an ascertained person who has a present interest and is entitled to take possession upon the termination of the prior estate

2 : that which remains or is left specifically : the property in a decedent's estate that is not otherwise devised or bequeathed I leave the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate to my son Michael

History and Etymology for remainder

Anglo-French, from Old French remaindre to remain

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Comments on remainder

What made you want to look up remainder? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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