Definition of remnant in English:


Syllabification: rem·nant
Pronunciation: /ˈremnənt


  • 1A small remaining quantity of something.
    More example sentences
    • It happened in front of the Western Wall, the last remnant of the Second Temple.
    • Nine hundred years later, the remnant of their empire is a small, weary nation, divided between two countries, with a bad reputation due west, and a genetic legacy like no other, stretching from the Pacific to the Caspian Sea.
    • Nearby is the Bosco di Mesola, the only remnant of the woodland which once covered most of the delta area: here Italy's last surviving native population of red deer took refuge, protected by the malarial swamps all around.
    remains, remainder, leftovers, residue, rest
    technical residuum
  • 1.1A piece of cloth or carpeting left when the greater part has been used or sold.
    More example sentences
    • Since dealers tend to sell remnants at a discount, it's well worth the extra effort.
    • She lost her balance and fell headfirst onto a 1-cm thick piece of plush carpet remnant covering the concrete floor.
    • The warehouse is a treasure trove of inexpensive art supplies, including fabric remnants, wallpaper samples, tiles, and picture frames.
    scrap, piece, bit, fragment, shred, offcut, oddment
  • 1.2A surviving trace: a remnant of the past
    More example sentences
    • Above the violence and social injustice rises a battle to survive and maintain a remnant of integrity.
    • As much as the concept of community had developed, humans still had a capacity for wanting the best for themselves, the remnant of survival instincts.
    • As a textually bound remnant of the past, he is already determined, ‘enslaved’ in Browning's metaphor, by the documentary record into which he has been interpolated.
  • 1.3 Christian Theology A small minority of people who will remain faithful to God and so be saved (in allusion to biblical prophecies concerning Israel).
    More example sentences
    • The concept of a remnant emerges - a faithful minority whose response to God is sincere and who thereby single themselves out as the bearers of a unique commission to the rest of the nation.


[attributive] Back to top  
  • Remaining: remnant strands of hair
    More example sentences
    • By the mid 1950s - 60s, the UK's once-thriving population had been reduced to remnant populations in the south west of England, East Anglia, parts of Wales and Scotland.
    • Provision of geographic links between existing areas of remnant vegetation potentially facilitating gene flow and dispersal among populations of species that have become ecological islands due to clearing.
    • The English aristocrat recognised the historical importance of remnant business houses and early pearling masters' homes, and set about restoring some of Broome's architectural origins.


Middle English: contraction of obsolete remenant, from Old French, from remenoir, remanoir 'remain'.

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