rem·​nant | \ ˈrem-nənt How to pronounce remnant (audio) \

Definition of remnant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a usually small part, member, or trace remaining
b : a small surviving group often used in plural
2 : an unsold or unused end of piece goods



Definition of remnant (Entry 2 of 2)

: still remaining

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Examples of remnant in a Sentence

Noun Remnants go on sale next week. sailed home with just a remnant of the colony's original population aboard
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun About John Paul and Latin, Foster and a remnant of hardcore traditionalists agreed, although both sides might have preferred not to notice. Nicholas Frankovich, National Review, "Tradition without Traditionalism: Reginald Foster Requiescat in Pace," 2 Jan. 2021 Like barbecue from the American South, jerk today is a remnant from the era of slavery, when Maroons would transform tough cuts of meat into tender, delicious dishes. Vaughn Stafford Gray, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Brief History of Jamaican Jerk," 22 Dec. 2020 The drive-in, a barely surviving remnant of the ’50s, proliferated, filling everywhere from box-store parking lots to deserted high-school ball fields. Jake Coyle,, "Performing in the pandemic, by Zoom, drive-in and doorstep," 22 Dec. 2020 Hurricane Laura may have stayed far away from Florida's Gulf Coast, but the storm's strong waves have left a stinking remnant behind. Fox News, "Florida beaches left stinking after Hurricane Laura sends seafloor critters washing ashore," 1 Sep. 2020 The Fermi bubbles are believed to be the remnant of an extraordinary eruption from the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy, millions of years ago. Tim Childers, Popular Mechanics, "The Milky Way Just Burped Out Some Stuff," 11 Dec. 2020 New Orleans architect James Freret, the building is the only surviving remnant of the institution for which the Holy Cross neighborhood is named. R. Stephanie Bruno,, "New list of New Orleans endangered sites includes old school, former church," 28 Nov. 2020 Digging at the foot of Burial Hill in 2019, a University of Massachusetts team discovered a line of dark soil that is almost certainly the remains of the colony’s original palisade—the first actual remnant of Plimoth ever found. Scott Eisen, National Geographic, "400 years on, the Pilgrims get a reality check," 11 Nov. 2020 The Battle of Jakku, which happens a year later, marks the final defeat of the core Imperial fleet and the surrender of most of the Imperial remnant. Brittany Vincent, CNN Underscored, "Star Wars: Squadrons is a modern take on the X-Wing series," 1 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective These remnant nurseries offer respite for birds in winter including rare long-eared owls that roost in singles to small groups, as well as rabbits and other wild life that take cover within the leaves. Sheryl Devore,, "Lake County’s aromatic evergreens beckon in winter," 24 Dec. 2020 But even though the assault ended in apparent defeat, Imperial remnant tactical development seems unlikely to have been a one-off. Angry Staff Officer, Wired, "Hold Everything: Stormtroopers Have Discovered Tactics," 9 Dec. 2020 It was expected to become a remnant low sometime Sunday, forecasters said. The Associated Press,, "Hurricane Iota heads for Honduras, Nicaragua as record-breaking hurricane season continues," 15 Nov. 2020 It was expected to become a remnant low later Saturday, forecasters said. Fox News, "Iota threatens 2nd tropical strike for Nicaragua, Honduras," 14 Nov. 2020 Tropical Depression Eta is expected to become a remnant low sometime Thursday, but should begin a re-intensifying process Friday. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "Tropical Depression Eta turning toward Caribbean, Florida lies in forecast path where it is expected to re-intensify," 5 Nov. 2020 In the Great Lakes region, the canines have slowly expanded on their own, boosted by a remnant population in Minnesota and Canada. Christine Peterson, National Geographic, "Gray wolves taken off U.S. endangered species list in controversial move," 29 Oct. 2020 Additional weakening is expected, and Sally should become a remnant low by tonight or Friday. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, "Mild End to a Minnesota September While More Tropical Systems Threat," 17 Sep. 2020 Sally is forecast to weaken more and become a remnant low tonight or early Friday. Leigh Morgan, al, "Sally moving out but attention shifts back to Gulf, where another storm could be brewing," 17 Sep. 2020

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


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


1550, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for remnant


Middle English, contraction of remenant, from Anglo-French remanant, from present participle of remaindre to remain — more at remain entry 1

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Time Traveler for remnant

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for remnant

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Remnant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for remnant


How to pronounce remnant (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of remnant

: the part of something that is left when the other parts are gone
: a small piece of cloth that is left after the rest of the cloth has been sold


rem·​nant | \ ˈrem-nənt How to pronounce remnant (audio) \

Kids Definition of remnant

: something that remains or is left over a remnant of cloth

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