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 Many manufacturers continue to suffer from inventory shortages, a remnant from when plants were closed last spring. Austen Hufford, WSJ, "Covid-19 Safety Measures, Supply Constraints Crimp Manufacturers," 30 Jan. 2021 Preservationists and North Side residents are trying to save a mid-20th century barn believed to be the last remnant of the area’s dairy farming heritage, over the objections of a landowner who wants to raze the building for a shopping center. Scott Huddleston,, "Residents, preservationists hope to save North Side dairy barn," 4 Dec. 2020 The reappropriation of the pink triangle—a remnant from the Nazi-era branding of the gay men and women sent to the concentration camps. Fortune, "Better conversations: The 7 essential elements of meaningful communication," 24 Nov. 2020 Former Mayor Ann Marie Donegan, with the help of Chaplain Dean Kavouras, sought and received that steel girder remnant. cleveland, "Remnant of World Trade Center receives a place of honor: Olmsted Dates and Data," 2 Nov. 2020 Lunar sample 76015,143 is a remnant from a violent asteroid impact on the moon’s surface. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "The Story of the Moon Rock in Joe Biden's Oval Office," 22 Jan. 2021 Sir, this is the remnant of the old pro-slavery spirit, which must eventually give place to more humane and elevating ideas. Christopher Frear, Smithsonian Magazine, "Meet Joseph Rainey, the First Black Congressman," 5 Jan. 2021 This slice of typical youth chaos at the subsidized Langston Lane Apartments in Southeast Washington is a remnant of more normal times that — with a lot of determination and private donations — has, so far, managed to survive the pandemic. Washington Post, "A public housing learning pod with in-person therapy supports D.C. students during pandemic," 28 Dec. 2020 This game is a remnant of the Legends Classic, which was moved from Brooklyn to the bubble, where BYU replaced Notre Dame, and Vanderbilt, which was supposed to play UConn on Tuesday, pulled out due to a positive COVID test. Dom Amore,, "’All hands on deck’ as Dan Hurley, UConn men gear up for a Southern Cal challenge," 3 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 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

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

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Remnant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 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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