re·​sid·​u·​al | \ ri-ˈzi-jə-wəl How to pronounce residual (audio) , -jəl; -ˈzij-wəl \

Definition of residual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : remainder, residuum: such as
a : the difference between results obtained by observation and by computation from a formula or between the mean of several observations and any one of them
b : a residual product or substance
c : an internal aftereffect of experience or activity that influences later behavior especially : a disability remaining from a disease or operation
2 : a payment (as to an actor or writer) for each rerun after an initial showing (as of a TV show)



Definition of residual (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or constituting a residue
2 : leaving a residue that remains effective for some time a residual pesticide

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Other Words from residual


residually adverb

Examples of residual in a Sentence

Adjective She's still dealing with the residual effects of the accident.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Under the traditional business model, every time a show was sold to some secondary market, or released on DVD, a residual would be paid into the plans. Gene Maddaus, Variety, 19 Oct. 2021 The tiny residual between incoming sunshine and outgoing infrared is due to the accumulation of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide in the air. Scott Denning, Quartz, 6 Aug. 2021 There’s been a very long, unbroken tradition of Indian business culture, [and] there’s a weak residual of a central planning system. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, 17 May 2021 Jackson and the Ravens suspect the cramps were a residual from the COVID-19 that knocked the quarterback out of action for two weeks. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, 28 Jan. 2021 As to residuals, the SAG-AFTRA deal is likely to largely mirror the Directors Guild of America pact that was ratified April 3. Jonathan Handel, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Apr. 2020 Negotiations, which cover television, streaming and theatrical product, are expected to center on wages, residuals and various aspects of working conditions such as holds and exclusivity. Jonathan Handel, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Apr. 2020 International Paper generates nearly 75% of our paper mill energy from these biomass residuals rather than from fossil fuels. Fortune, 30 Jan. 2020 The nightmare of the 2017 special Senate election, the residual of which Moore is still living, seemed far away at that instant. Paul Gattis |, al, 29 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Still, companies continue to confront residual effects of the pandemic, such as shipping bottlenecks and manufacturing slowdowns tied to lockdown measures in Southeast Asia. Mark Maurer, WSJ, 18 Oct. 2021 Rather than melting mozzarella on top, tear off shreds of room-temperature cheese and scatter them over the dish to soften in the residual heat from the other elements. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, 29 Sep. 2021 In much the same way as air-source heat devices work, large water-source heat pumps could draw residual heat from the Clyde, which is then piped to homes and businesses, providing a lower-carbon alternative to traditional heating systems. Sonia Elks, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 Sep. 2021 Instead of baking cheese into your pasta, add it at the last minute and let the residual heat melt the cheese slightly. Casey Barber, CNN, 22 Aug. 2021 The fuel that had been in the reactor core for six years was placed in the adjacent spent fuel pool, where the assemblies will remain for a minimum of five years to remove residual heat and await being moved to Columbia’s on-site dry cask storage. James Conca, Forbes, 22 June 2021 This rendition cooks the shrimp and couscous at the same time, but does so gently, using residual heat trapped in a covered pot. Star Tribune, 23 Apr. 2021 If the sugar gets too dark before the meat comes to temperature, turn off the oven; the pork will finish cooking in the residual heat., 20 Apr. 2021 The residual feelings of frustration and anger are real and stayed with me. New York Times, 24 Mar. 2021

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


1557, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for residual


Latin residuum residue

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Time Traveler for residual

Time Traveler

The first known use of residual was in 1557

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Dictionary Entries Near residual



residual affinity

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Last Updated

26 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Residual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for residual



English Language Learners Definition of residual

: remaining after a process has been completed or something has been removed


re·​sid·​u·​al | \ ri-ˈzij-(ə-)wəl, -ˈzij-əl How to pronounce residual (audio) \

Medical Definition of residual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or being something that remains: as
a : remaining after a disease or operation residual paralysis
b : remaining in a body cavity after maximum normal expulsion has occurred residual urine — see residual volume
2a : leaving a residue that remains effective for some time after application residual insecticides
b : of or relating to a residual insecticide a residual spray



Medical Definition of residual (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an internal aftereffect of experience or activity that influences later behavior
2 : a residual abnormality (as a scar or limp)


re·​sid·​u·​al | \ ri-ˈzi-jə-wəl \

Legal Definition of residual

: of, relating to, or constituting a residue : residuary

More from Merriam-Webster on residual

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for residual

Nglish: Translation of residual for Spanish Speakers


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