Definition of remain in English:

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Pronunciation: /rɪˈmeɪn/


[no object]
1Continue to exist, especially after other similar people or things have ceased to do so: a cloister is all that remains of the monastery
More example sentences
  • Though a silver bullet does not exist, hope remains for improved weed control.
  • However, uncertainty remains regarding the effectiveness of interventions to reduce lead hazards and blood lead levels.
  • But even so uncertainty remains as to possible changes in the state of targets between the time of missile launching and its flying.
continue to exist, endure, last, abide, go on, carry on, persist, hang in the air, stay around/round, stand, be extant, hold out, prevail, survive, live on
residual, surviving, left, left over, unused;
extra, surplus, spare, superfluous, excess, in excess, in addition
surviving, lasting, enduring, continuing, persisting, lingering, abiding, long-lived, (still) existing, extant, in existence, living, lifelong, long-term, perennial
1.1Stay in the place that one has been occupying: her husband remained at the flat in Regent’s Park
More example sentences
  • She met and married her husband, Lou, and remained there for the rest of her life.
  • I no longer wish to support my husband's application to remain in the UK and we are no longer together.
stay, stay behind, stay put, wait, wait around, linger, be left, hold on, hang on, rest, stop
informal hang around/round
British informal hang about
formal sojourn
archaic bide, tarry
1.2 [with complement] Continue to possess a particular quality or fulfil a particular role: he had remained alert the whole time
More example sentences
  • But police say his movements from there remain unclear.
  • So your dreams will forever remain a mystery to me?
  • Mechanisms are likely complex, but as yet remain unclear.
continue to be, stay, keep, persist in being, carry on being, go on being
2Be left over or outstanding after others or other parts have been completed, used, or dealt with: a more intractable problem remains
More example sentences
  • In the end, with absolutely no time remaining, a deal was cut.
  • If the Court pleases, there are nine matters remaining for me to deal with.
  • Twelve minutes remained to be played, and four more were added.
be left, be left over, be still available, be unused;
have not yet passed, have not yet expired
unsettled, outstanding, unresolved, unfinished, incomplete, to be done, undone, not done, unattended to;


remain to be seen

Used to express the notion that something is not yet known: she has broken her leg, but it remains to be seen how badly
More example sentences
  • So that's certainly going to unfold in the next couple of days and remains to be seen.
  • Whether it can face the fact of defeat or loss of office remains to be seen.
  • Waterloo will begin playoff action on the road, but it remains to be seen where they will travel to.


Late Middle English: from Old French remain-, stressed stem of remanoir, from Latin remanere, from re- (expressing intensive force) + manere 'to stay'.

  • mansion from Late Middle English:

    The rich person's mansion and the minister's manse have the same origin. They both derive from Latin mansio ‘place where someone stays’, from manere ‘to stay’ (the source of remain (Late Middle English) and manor (Middle English)). A mansion was originally the home of a medieval lord of the manor, but the word later extended to any large, impressive house. ‘The principal house of an estate’ was also the original sense of manse; it became increasingly restricted to an ecclesiastical residence, and is now a house occupied by a Church of Scotland or other Nonconformist minister. A son or daughter of the manse (like Prime Minister Gordon Brown) is a child of a Church of Scotland minister. See also palace

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: re¦main

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