rem·​nant | \ˈrem-nənt \

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


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

Puerto Rico is predicted to get several inches of rain on Monday from Beryl's remnants, which could trigger flash floods and mudslides in some areas, officials said. NBC News, "Puerto Rico prepares for remnants of Beryl, as some still remain without power after hurricane," 8 July 2018 Taken from tenement houses, or row houses, the remnants are from archaeological digs spanning 11 years as researchers and historians piece them together to create a picture of the lives of these workers. Caroline Blackmon, Detroit Free Press, "Digging for mid-1800s trash uncovers lives of Corktown residents," 1 July 2018 To observe that remnants of Pre-Raphaelite art are with us today is not to say that artists of later eras paid much attention to their example. Charles Desmarais,, "‘Truth and Beauty’ at Legion of Honor: Pure visual pleasure of an idiosyncratic style," 29 June 2018 The invaluable remnants are testament to their rich history, their sense of belonging, their culture. Elizabeth Elkin And Saeed Ahmed, CNN, "Nine sacred artifacts stolen from a Native American tribe are finally returned over 100 years later," 11 June 2018 But for stars in between, that remnant is a neutron star. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The Largest Neutron Star Ever, Found With a Clever New Technique," 30 May 2018 And now the last remnants of two camps were unmoored and on the move, even as dozens more people went inside or into treatment. Mike Newall,, "A father and son, evicted from a heroin camp, move on in Kensington | Mike Newall," 30 May 2018 Astronomers remain convinced white dwarfs—dense, Earth-size remnants of sunlike stars—are the astrophysical culprits behind Type Ia supernovae. Shannon Hall, Scientific American, "The Milky Way's Speediest Stars Could Solve a 50-Year-Old Mystery," 9 May 2018 The 29,000-square-foot house that was built around 2000 has been modernized, but remnants of Jeffs’ legacy remain. Washington Post, "‘Big House’ once owned by Warren Jeffs is now a sober home," 4 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The first named storm of the Pacific season, Tropical Storm Aletta, weakened on Monday into remnant low-pressure system in the Pacific, far from the Mexican coast. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Hurricane Bud now a Category 3 storm, forecast to weaken before hitting Mexico's Baja," 13 June 2018 Confidence: Medium Tonight: Skies should partially clear but, with all the remnant moisture from the recent damp weather, areas of fog are possible. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: A soggy Monday, but then slowly trending drier and pretty nice," 11 June 2018 Cannon later climbed up to the place where the accident occurred to help Prince, who, like himself, was traumatized, and saw rope abrasions on the rock, but could not find any remnant equipment that would indicate a safety-system failure. Peter Fimrite, The Seattle Times, "Witness describes death plunge of two Yosemite climbers," 11 June 2018 Cannon later climbed up to the place where the accident occurred to help Prince, who, like himself, was traumatized, and saw rope abrasions on the rock, but could not find any remnant equipment that would indicate a safety system failure. Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, "Witness to death plunge of 2 climbers on El Capitan describes horrific final moments," 10 June 2018 As a remnant low-pressure center from Subtropical Storm Alberto tracked through northwest Indiana into southwest Michigan on Wednesday, bands of thunderstorms dumped rain over Chicago's western suburbs. Tom Skilling,, "Alberto helps Chicago break May rainfall record," 30 May 2018 Confidence: Medium The remnant low-pressure center from Alberto should still be well to our west by Wednesday. Brian Jackson, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Another round of storms likely this afternoon into evening," 27 May 2018 Previously, Vevo’s own sales force had first dibs on the videos, relegating Google to automated, remnant ad sales. Peter Kafka, Recode, "YouTube is using a new deal with Vevo, the music labels’ video venture, to boost ad sales," 7 May 2018 The low pressure system responsible for the rain will move off to the east Friday with some remnant clouds and scattered light showers clearing out by midmorning. Tom Skilling,, "Fair skies, warm temperatures return to Chicago as rain moves to east," 4 May 2018

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

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Dictionary Entries near remnant


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Statistics for remnant

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for remnant

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

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More Definitions for remnant



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 \

Kids Definition of remnant

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on remnant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for remnant

Spanish Central: Translation of remnant

Nglish: Translation of remnant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of remnant for Arabic Speakers

Comments on remnant

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something that serves to warn or remind

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