Definition of residue in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈrɛzɪdjuː/


1A small amount of something that remains after the main part has gone or been taken or used: the fine residue left after the sorting of tea figurative the residue of the country’s colonial past
More example sentences
  • Even when canned vegetables are rinsed small amounts of the residue remain.
  • As a result, it is almost impossible to know the amount of pesticide residues on supermarket produce.
  • Runoff and erosion decrease as the amount of residue remaining on the surface increases.
1.1A substance that remains after a process such as combustion or evaporation: the ash was a residue from coal-fired power stations
More example sentences
  • When heated this produces methane gas and a solid residue of sodium carbonate.
  • Oxidation of amino acid residues in proteins is known to alter their functional properties.
  • Steam distillation or chromatography of wood and wood residues can release terpenes.
1.2 Law The part of an estate that is left after the payment of charges, debts, and bequests: the residue of the estate was divided equally among the cousins
More example sentences
  • By her will the deceased left you the residue of her estate.
  • Thus, there was an intestacy with respect to the residue of the Estate.
  • One assumes it was intended to fall into the residue of the Estate, but this is simply another drafting problem with these two clauses in the Will.


Late Middle English: from Old French residu, from Latin residuum 'something remaining' (see residuum).

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.