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 The deal, brokered by Supervisor Hillary Ronen, comes after a four-year fight over whether housing would be built on the last remaining remnant of the city’s once-thriving flower-growing industry. J.k. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, "S.F.'s historic Portola greenhouses could be saved. But there's a catch," 30 Mar. 2021 Of course, no reasonable outdoorsman or woman wants to spoil our last remnant of wilderness. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, "Drilling for Oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Two Perspectives from Alaskan Outdoorsmen," 21 Dec. 2020 For example, Metsavainio writes on his blog that a supernova remnant called the Cygnus Shell required roughly 100 hours with the camera’s shutter open to capture enough light to render the image. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "See Astonishing Milky Way Mosaic Image That Took 12 Years to Create," 24 Mar. 2021 Skeptics are warning amateur investors who piled into the stock that this remnant of their euphoria could still come crashing down. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "GameStop is set to post earnings next week in the wake of its roller coaster ride," 19 Mar. 2021 The reddish remnant is believed to be a sliver of its original self, its outer layers evaporated by cosmic radiation and, more recently, the sun. NBC News, "No cigar: Interstellar object is cookie-shaped planet shard," 18 Mar. 2021 By burrowing into the basement with raw, minimalist materials, the architects transformed that remnant of the 1937 World’s Fair into what is reputed to be the biggest non-collecting contemporary art museum in Europe. Robin Pogrebin, New York Times, "Affordable Housing Earns French Couple the Pritzker Prize," 16 Mar. 2021 The first time was obviously in The Flash's third season when Savitar turned out to be a very bitter Barry Allen speed remnant. Chancellor Agard,, "The Flash recap: Barry's speed thinking creates major problems for Team Flash," 10 Mar. 2021 And even after the tumor was excised, an undetectable remnant in his bloodstream seeded metastatic lesions in his lungs. Michele Cohen Marill, Wired, "Could Fruit Flies Help Match Patients With Cancer Treatments?," 26 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective This remnant object, called a white dwarf, begins to cool, eventually freezing into a gigantic solid crystal over billions of years. Adam Mann, Science | AAAS, "Some dead stars may harbor enough uranium to set off a thermonuclear bomb," 18 Mar. 2021 Iota is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm Tuesday afternoon, a tropical depression Tuesday night and degenerate into a remnant low pressure area on Wednesday. Carlie Wells,, "Tropical depression could form by this weekend in Caribbean, hurricane forecasters say," 17 Nov. 2020 By contrast, consider the fates of other Minnesota game birds that once were abundant but now exist only in remnant populations, thanks to weather extremes and/or habitat loss. Star Tribune, "Pheasants' advocates, taxpayers have hand in rosy outlook," 8 Oct. 2020 Schemes that encourage farmers to plant wildflowers, keep remnant native vegetation and leave grasslands uncut can be very effective at increasing the number and diversity of insects and expanding the pool of potential pollinators. Stephanie Pain, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Much Do Flies Help With Pollination?," 8 Mar. 2021 Friday morning’s remnant wintry mix could include some snowflakes. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Spotty light wintry mix ends this morning. Clearer but cold and brisk this weekend.," 19 Feb. 2021 Theta, the 29th, was far out in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, and became a remnant low Sunday. Fox News, "Hurricane Iota becomes Category 4 storm, new threat to Central America," 16 Nov. 2020 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

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

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Remnant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce remnant (audio) \

Kids Definition of remnant

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

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Comments on remnant

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