Share this entry

residual Line breaks: re|sidual
Pronunciation: /rɪˈzɪdjʊəl/

Definition of residual in English:


1Remaining after the greater part or quantity has gone: the withdrawal of residual occupying forces
More example sentences
  • ‘The only specific enemy forces will be residual local forces, but it is a dangerous and challenging environment, of that there is no doubt,’ said a senior MoD source.
  • The details that began to filter back to company HQ were immediately positive as the residual forces of McCarthy were comprehensively defeated in all theatres.
  • The fact that common law now occupies only a residual role in relation to competition law generally may be attributed to several factors.
1.1(Of a quantity) left after other items have been subtracted: residual income after tax and mortgage payments
More example sentences
  • It turns out that this is simply a residual category obtained by subtracting both groups from the total population.
  • What you are still entitled to from the partnership will give you one of two possible results for tax purposes: You may be left with either a residual interest or an income interest.
  • At the moment parents of students are expected to contribute up to £1, 100 a year towards the cost of tuition fees if their residual income is more than about £20,000.
1.2(Of a physical state or property) remaining after the removal of or present in the absence of a causative agent: residual stenosis
More example sentences
  • Only in the presence of residual features of physical abuse (such as fractures), along with identifiable risk factors, would non-accidental injury be considered.
  • The treatment of choice is early surgical removal with intensive chemotherapy and radiation therapy to ablate residual microscopic disease.
  • They are usually used when angiography shows a stenosis that is of intermediate severity, or to determine the functional severity of a residual stenosis after percutaneous coronary intervention.
1.3(Of an experimental or arithmetical error) not accounted for or eliminated.
Example sentences
  • All the above-mentioned parametric analyses were checked for and displayed normally distributed residual errors.
  • As experienced in the study involving the natural MA lines, the distributions of residual errors for both characters were nonnormal, as noted above.
  • The residual error in both of these fits is small, indicating that the same spectral components can fit these measurements at both temperatures.
1.4(Of a soil or other deposit) formed in situ by weathering.
Example sentences
  • Later research was able to involve a greater concentration on, and technical knowledge of, residual deposits and weathering products associated with particular surfaces.
  • A similar effect can be created by perched water tables formed by silty or clayey layers of low permeability within alluvial soils, or cemented layers in weathered, residual soils.
  • The last contain residual soil (terra rossa), and are then filled with marine sediment of the overlying strata.


Back to top  
1A quantity remaining after other things have been subtracted or allowed for: the Keynesian component is clearly a residual which is arrived at by subtracting the natural and classical components from overall unemployment
More example sentences
  • The danger with installing many programs and then uninstalling is that some residuals often remain behind.
  • First, rent collection techniques must be sensitive to market cycles and collect only the residual that remains after allowing normal returns to capital and labor.
  • Shrimp with positive chela residuals produce significantly more open chela displays than shrimp with negative chela residuals.
1.1A difference between a value measured in a scientific experiment and the theoretical or true value.
Example sentences
  • The normal probability plot of residuals against their expected values when the distribution is normal suggested that the error distribution was almost normal.
  • Also, the path shape may change within the range of time scales used in the study; this will appear as a U- or inverted U-shaped pattern in a plot of residuals vs. expected values.
  • In the next step, we removed the effect of body mass prior to testing for regional differences by using residuals from a regression of each of the two variables on body mass.
1.2 Geology A portion of rocky or high ground remaining after erosion: the eroded residuals of reefs built in relation to earlier, higher sea levels
More example sentences
  • In seasonally wet tropical areas, tower karst hills are often residuals from past wetter climates and tend to have their caves partially filled by secondary calcite deposits.
  • Furthermore, although the recent concentration on residuals and surfaces is fully understandable, it appears timely to reconsider the evidence provided by larger known bodies of Tertiary sediment.
  • These grains were not affected by the Variscan anatexis, so we consider them as residual.
2A royalty paid to a performer, writer, etc. for a repeat of a play, television show, etc. she has been awarded more than $4.5 million in residuals and profits from the highly successful television show
More example sentences
  • Outstanding issues include improved residuals for film and television productions and repeat fees for TV productions.
  • Writers' residuals for original programming on basic cable, ranging from series such as Lifetime Television's ‘Any Day Now’ to telepics for Disney Channel, will also be bumped up.
  • The disputes centre on what are known as residuals - essentially royalties.
3The resale value of a new car or other item at a specified time after purchase, expressed as a percentage of its purchase price: the federation wants car tax taken out over five years to avoid residuals being hit
More example sentences
  • The value of their residuals would suffer accordingly.
  • The attraction of this option is that the car is given guaranteed value, called a residual, at the end of the fixed term contract.
  • Search the internet for the residuals on the BMW and you will find they are fairly high.



Example sentences
  • To be specific, modeling consumer confidence as a state-space system - which, in a sense, defines the non-economic component residually in a sophisticated way - permits indirect inferences to be made.
  • No doubt members of an oral or residually oral society, however, have greater powers of memory than those in a literate culture, who have let such capacities atrophy.
  • There is something residually haughty in its demeanour, something defiantly unvulgar in the pride with which it stands on its regal, multi-spoked wheels.

Words that rhyme with residual


Definition of residual in:

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.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day whippersnapper
Pronunciation: ˈ(h)wipərˌsnapər
a young, inexperienced person considered presumptuous or overconfident...