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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English, contraction of remenant, from Anglo-Norman remanant, present participle of remaindre, from Latin remaneō.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɹɛmnənt/
    • (file)
  • Hyphenation: rem‧nant


remnant (plural remnants)

  1. The small portion remaining of a larger thing or group.
    • 1820, [Walter Scott], chapter XIII, in The Abbot. [], volume I, Edinburgh: [] [James Ballantyne & Co.] for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, []; and for Archibald Constable and Company, and John Ballantyne, [], →OCLC, page 267:
      Even while within sight of persons of the prevailing faith, there were individuals bold enough, by folding their arms and bending their head, to give distant and silent intimation that they recognized sister Magdalen, and honoured alike her person and her purpose. She failed not to notice to her grandson these marks of honour and respect which from time to time she received. “You see,” she said, “my son, that the enemies have been unable altogether to suppress the good spirit, or to root out the true seed. Amid heretics and schismatics, spoilers of the church’s lands, and scoffers at saints and sacraments, there remains a remnant.”
  2. The remaining fabric at the end of the bolt.
    Usually not enough to make an entire project by itself, remnants of several fabrics can be used to make quilts.
  3. An unsold end of piece goods, as cloth, ribbons, carpets, etc.


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remnant (not comparable)

  1. (archaic) Still left; remaining.
    • 1639, Thomas Fuller, “Lewis the Ninth Setteth Forward against the Turks; the Occasion of His Journey, and His Attendants”, in The Historie of the Holy Warre, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: [] Thomas Buck, one of the printers to the Universitie of Cambridge [and sold by John Williams, London], →OCLC, book IV, page 187:
      [H]is vow was made in his ſickneſſe, whileſt reaſon was ſcarce as yet in the peaceable poſſeſſion of his mind, becauſe of the remnant dregs of his diſeaſe: []
    • 1718, Mat[thew] Prior, “Solomon on the Vanity of the World. A Poem in Three Books.”, in Poems on Several Occasions, London: [] Jacob Tonson [], and John Barber [], →OCLC, book II (Pleasure), page 461:
      It bid Her feel / No future Pain for Me; but inſtant wed / A Lover more proportion'd to her Bed; / And quiet dedicate her remnant Life / To the juſt duties of an humble Wife.

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