Definition of remainder in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /rɪˈmeɪndə/


1A part, number, or quantity that is left over: leave a few mushrooms for garnish and slice the remainder
More example sentences
  • Cut the remainder of the lemon into slices then lay the lemon slices on top of the fish.
  • Thinly slice half the strawberries, mash or sieve the remainder and mix with the cream, lemon juice, sherry or wine and sugar.
  • It may have been opening night jitters, but that doesn't excuse the remainder of the cast from constantly tripping over their lines.
residue, balance, remaining part/number/quantity, part/number/quantity (that is) left over, rest, others, those left, remnant, remnants, rump, surplus, difference, extra, excess, superfluity, overflow, overspill, additional people/material/things, extra people/material/things
technical residuum
1.1 Mathematics The number which is left over in a division in which one quantity does not exactly divide another: 23 divided by 3 is 7, remainder 2
More example sentences
  • Modular arithmetic involves working with the remainders generated by division.
  • Euclid's algorithm is here applied to 720 and 168: Just keep dividing and noting remainders so that the larger number 720 is 4 lots of the smaller number 168 with 48 left over.
  • Gersonides had the idea of looking at remainders after division of powers of 3 by 8 and powers of 2 by 8.
1.2A copy of a book left unsold when demand has fallen: it seems that buying and selling remainders is the lowest form of bookselling
More example sentences
  • It seems that presswork was already completed on a number of these quartos, which are correctly dated ‘1619’, but others were falsely dated, probably with the intention to pass them off as remainders of earlier editions.
  • His books are already weighing down the remainder tables.
  • Today, they had disappeared without a trace, not even in evidence on a remainder table.
2A part that is still to come: the remainder of the year
More example sentences
  • A large part of the remainder of his life was lived against the background of the Second World War - a war which he determinedly ignored, spending most of it among the fields and orchards of rural Kent.
  • Lost in the wake of the situation was the fact that the team still had to complete the remainder of the season.
  • For the remainder of the quarter, about once or twice a week, the professor brings in more candy for distribution to those who arrive early for class and speak up in class.
3 Law A property interest that becomes effective in possession only when a prior interest (created at the same time) ends.
Example sentences
  • If, however, the grantor were to give away his full estate to a series of people, he will have kept no reversion in the property and the future interests he has created will be called remainders.
  • I have a remainder interest in a property where someone else has a life estate.
  • Kathleen's prior life interest would not prevent a remainder from vesting.


[with object]
Dispose of (a book left unsold) at a reduced price: titles are being remaindered increasingly quickly to save on overheads
More example sentences
  • But while some copies of my book had to be remaindered, it is not necessary to change the title to The Three Classic Rules of Banking: I always had a fifth rule in reserve.
  • All too soon, you hear that your book is remaindered, or perhaps, sold out, never to be reprinted.
  • On the downside, it's the first in a trio of hits entitled: ‘Another Lee Randall book for bid’, signalling a dialogue among Bolton fans eager to snatch up remaindered copies of the book.


Late Middle English (in sense 3 of the noun): from Anglo-Norman French, from Latin remanere (see remain).

Words that rhyme with remainder


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: re|main¦der

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.