Definition of remain in English:



[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’
    • ‘Though a silver bullet does not exist, hope remains for improved weed control.’
    • ‘Yet at the end of it, serious doubts remained as to whether the story should ever have been given the prominence it had.’
    • ‘But the fact remains that the BBC continues to broadcast challenging environmental coverage on TV, radio and the internet.’
    • ‘This pubic hair remains for the rest of the adult life.’
    • ‘But a great deal of pictorial evidence remains from both regions, along with much information in literary and religious texts about the place and function of music.’
    • ‘Secondly, a degree of uncertainty remains regarding the freedom of the parties to vary their contract where the third party's views are unknown.’
    • ‘Therefore, great uncertainty remains as to whether the US economy has entered a period of stable growth.’
    • ‘Uncertainty will always remain, however, particularly when the evidence is unreliable.’
    • ‘I say that, without resolving this question, a wholly undesirable state of uncertainty will remain.’
    • ‘All are covered with an undercoat, of which a great deal remains, of a copper-red colour.’
    • ‘Academic and even judicial uncertainty remains about the exact meaning and scope of the term.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, uncertainty remains about the optimal selection of patients for home treatment.’
    • ‘But serious uncertainties remain about how to measure and account for estimates of net carbon.’
    • ‘However, uncertainty remains regarding the effectiveness of interventions to reduce lead hazards and blood lead levels.’
    • ‘The taint of uncertainty and danger in the region, while it remains, will continue to have a negative effect on investor sentiment.’
    • ‘But even so uncertainty remains as to possible changes in the state of targets between the time of missile launching and its flying.’
    • ‘Uncertainty remains, but here are seven promising trends that could make the year memorable.’
    continue to exist, endure, last, abide, go on, carry on, persist, hang in the air, stay around, stay round, stand, be extant, hold out, prevail, survive, live on
    residual, surviving, left, left over, unused
    surviving, lasting, enduring, continuing, persisting, lingering, abiding, long-lived, existing, still existing, extant, in existence, living, lifelong, long-term, perennial
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    1. 1.1 Stay in the place that one has been occupying.
      ‘her husband remained at the flat in Regent's Park’
      • ‘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
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    2. 1.2with complement Continue to possess a particular quality or fulfil a particular role.
      ‘he had remained alert the whole time’
      • ‘The patient is transferred to the high-risk obstetric department as soon as she has stabilized, and she remains on bed rest for four hours.’
      • ‘But one fact remained stubbornly elusive: who was this man?’
      • ‘But police say his movements from there remain unclear.’
      • ‘The situation in the Kashmir valley remains serious.’
      • ‘No tanks appeared in the streets, and the stock market remained calm.’
      • ‘Over short periods of time the growth rates remain virtually constant.’
      • ‘It amazed her how he continued to stay with her and remained in love with her.’
      • ‘Christopher remained standing just behind Sara, as Robert did the same behind Rachel.’
      • ‘Suppose that the statue is destroyed by melting down the bronze, but the bronze remains intact and so continues to exist.’
      • ‘But if prices remain constant, where does profit come from?’
      • ‘Mechanisms are likely complex, but as yet remain unclear.’
      • ‘But the debate goes on, appeals continue and the outcome remains in doubt.’
      • ‘After Dan left, the cycle would begin again with issues remaining unresolved.’
      • ‘So your dreams will forever remain a mystery to me?’
      • ‘Twenty years later, it remains standing and is evolving toward tolerance and democracy.’
      • ‘Cell phones and video games exploded in popularity as computers remained out of reach.’
      • ‘Wage rates, for many people, have in fact remained at subsistence level.’
      • ‘Exactly what happened in those critical minutes remained a mystery last night.’
      • ‘In most areas of the states, new home prices continue to rise or remain as they were last year.’
      • ‘Others are known, and no doubt still more remain unknown.’
      continue to be, stay, keep, persist in being, carry on being, go on being
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  • 2Be left over or outstanding after others or other parts have been completed, used, or dealt with.

    ‘a more intractable problem remains’
    • ‘In the end, with absolutely no time remaining, a deal was cut.’
    • ‘Twelve minutes remained to be played, and four more were added.’
    • ‘After a year nothing much had happened and, with no funds remaining, treatment ceased.’
    • ‘If the Court pleases, there are nine matters remaining for me to deal with.’
    be left, be left over, be still available, be unused
    unsettled, outstanding, unresolved, unfinished, incomplete, to be done, undone, not done, unattended to
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  • 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It remains to be seen whether they will succeed in fielding a single candidate as promised.’
      • ‘Whether this election was about European issues though, remains to be seen.’
      • ‘It remains to be seen whether the film matches the book as a captivating bit of entertainment.’
      • ‘How the Church will recover from the latest round of scandals remains to be seen.’
      • ‘Whether it will meet any support at the school board table remains to be seen.’
      • ‘So that's certainly going to unfold in the next couple of days and remains to be seen.’
      • ‘Whether or not he takes further steps to address his problem remains to be seen.’
      • ‘Whether or not Québec would be better off as a sovereign nation remains to be seen.’


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