Definition of remainder in English:



  • 1A part, number, or quantity that is left over:

    ‘leave a few mushrooms for garnish and slice the remainder’
    • ‘The remainder comes from wholesale activities, funds management and from life assurance and pensions.’
    • ‘The remainder is owned by processing giant, Dairy Crest.’
    • ‘The remainder consists predominantly of members of thirty-six groups with populations of 100,000 or more.’
    • ‘The remainder of the $6 million was committed by the presidents and chancellors of the participating universities.’
    • ‘Thinly slice half the strawberries, mash or sieve the remainder and mix with the cream, lemon juice, sherry or wine and sugar.’
    • ‘The remainder comprises taxes on insurance premiums and car maintenance.’
    • ‘The remainder is owned by the three Dublin doctors.’
    • ‘The remainders have been classified in three groups.’
    • ‘It may have been opening night jitters, but that doesn't excuse the remainder of the cast from constantly tripping over their lines.’
    • ‘The remainder of the antibody molecule is more constant between different antibodies.’
    • ‘Ninety-five percent is used as pizza topping, while the remainder is made into sliced or ‘portioned’ cheese.’
    • ‘The remainder came from other disciplines, with general surgery making up 26%.’
    • ‘Almost half the land is in agricultural use, with much of the remainder consisting of forests and high mountains.’
    • ‘Cut the remainder of the lemon into slices then lay the lemon slices on top of the fish.’
    • ‘The remainder is then left to the family when the person dies.’
    • ‘He pointed out that while a few employees work part time to maintain the building and the grounds, management has found other jobs for the remainder of their former employees.’
    • ‘The remainder consists of fertile coastal and riverine lowlands, including a narrow sandy and marshy coastal plain.’
    • ‘He pleaded guilty to six yesterday with the remainder being ordered to remain on file.’
    • ‘York generates 150,000 tonnes - the remainder comes from as far afield as Manchester.’
    • ‘Alcoa will take at least a 60 per cent ownership stake in the smelter, with a state-owned enterprise holding the remainder, the web site said.’
    residue, balance, remaining number, remaining part, remaining quantity, part/number/quantity, number that is left over, part that is left over, quantity that is left over, rest, others, those left, remnant, remnants, rump, surplus, difference, extra, excess, superfluity, overflow, overspill, additional material, additional people, additional things, extra material, extra people, extra things
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    1. 1.1Mathematics The number which is left over in a division in which one quantity does not exactly divide another:
      ‘23 divided by 3 is 7, remainder 2’
      • ‘Euclid's algorithm is here applied to 720 and 168: Just keep dividing and noting remainders so that the larger number 720 is 4 lots of the smaller number 168 with 48 left over.’
      • ‘The square of any prime number greater than 3 leaves a remainder of 1 when divided by 12.’
      • ‘Gersonides had the idea of looking at remainders after division of powers of 3 by 8 and powers of 2 by 8.’
      • ‘Such a sequence consists of the remainders, or residues, after squaring consecutive whole numbers, then dividing them by a given prime number.’
      • ‘Modular arithmetic involves working with the remainders generated by division.’
    2. 1.2 A copy of a book left unsold when demand has fallen:
      ‘it seems that buying and selling remainders is the lowest form of bookselling’
      • ‘Have a look in the remainder bookshop and you'll find cheap reprints of the original texts.’
      • ‘His books are already weighing down the remainder tables.’
      • ‘Today, they had disappeared without a trace, not even in evidence on a remainder table.’
      • ‘It seems that presswork was already completed on a number of these quartos, which are correctly dated ‘1619’, but others were falsely dated, probably with the intention to pass them off as remainders of earlier editions.’
  • 2A part that is still to come:

    ‘the remainder of the year’
    • ‘Lost in the wake of the situation was the fact that the team still had to complete the remainder of the season.’
    • ‘We'll be right back with the remainder of this story.’
    • ‘A large part of the remainder of his life was lived against the background of the Second World War - a war which he determinedly ignored, spending most of it among the fields and orchards of rural Kent.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, there are complications, and the remainder of this section summarizes the major ones.’
    • ‘He decided to devote the remainder of his life to helping ill children.’
    • ‘They rested the remainder of the evening in his yard behind his large fence.’
    • ‘Except for two more trips to Sicily, the Academy seems to have been Plato's home base for the remainder of his life.’
    • ‘I would like to devote the remainder of this article to a single episode in my dealings with Kyle.’
    • ‘Green spent the remainder of the season trying to dig himself out of that hole.’
    • ‘It was a different story for the remainder of the match however.’
    • ‘The remainder of this article tries to summarize what we know about such effects.’
    • ‘Okay, guys, you can rest up for the remainder of the day.’
    • ‘They live out the remainder of his short life miserable and never are intimate again.’
    • ‘The young striker spent the remainder of the season kicking his heels again on the bench.’
    • ‘The remainder of the first half was a close contest with attempts aplenty at both ends as the game ebbed and flowed.’
    • ‘I closed my eyes to rest for the remainder of our trip.’
    • ‘Navy took the upper hand with an early goal; the remainder of the half was enthusiastically played with both teams trying to gain control.’
    • ‘For the remainder of the quarter, about once or twice a week, the professor brings in more candy for distribution to those who arrive early for class and speak up in class.’
    • ‘He was returned to prison to serve the remainder of the seven-year sentence.’
    • ‘He devoted the remainder of his life to other literary projects and died in 1903 of cancer.’
    remaining number, remaining part, rest, remnant, remnants, remains
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  • 3Law
    A property interest that becomes effective in possession only when a prior interest (created at the same time) ends.

    • ‘If, however, the grantor were to give away his full estate to a series of people, he will have kept no reversion in the property and the future interests he has created will be called remainders.’
    • ‘I have a remainder interest in a property where someone else has a life estate.’
    • ‘Disclaimer of a life interest brings forward the remainder interest into the possession of the holder of that interest.’
    • ‘Kathleen's prior life interest would not prevent a remainder from vesting.’
    • ‘Your interest is called a remainder interest, and it comes after your stepmother's life estate, which gives her the right to live there rent free for the rest of her life.’


  • Dispose of (a book left unsold) at a reduced price:

    ‘titles are being remaindered increasingly quickly to save on overheads’
    • ‘On the downside, it's the first in a trio of hits entitled: ‘Another Lee Randall book for bid’, signalling a dialogue among Bolton fans eager to snatch up remaindered copies of the book.’
    • ‘It's the kind of bookshop where remaindering occurs.’
    • ‘Wait till it is remaindered, as it no doubt will be.’
    • ‘They'll maybe write a book of poems that might, if they're lucky, be published in a run of 300, of which they'll buy 40 and another 150 will be remaindered.’
    • ‘In a market in which even bestsellers are quickly remaindered and then tossed into the bin of oblivion, the work of experimental women writers is easily lost.’
    • ‘It looks like the kind of book you'd find remaindered in the front shelves of Barnes and Noble where they keep all the bargain books corralled together.’
    • ‘These translations remain in the bookshops for a year at the most and are then remaindered.’
    • ‘It hardly sold a copy even when it was heavily discounted and then remaindered.’
    • ‘With space at a premium, books have to justify quickly their presence or be cruelly remaindered.’
    • ‘All too soon, you hear that your book is remaindered, or perhaps, sold out, never to be reprinted.’
    • ‘But while some copies of my book had to be remaindered, it is not necessary to change the title to The Three Classic Rules of Banking: I always had a fifth rule in reserve.’
    • ‘I had about 13 books that would have been remaindered if DC hadn't come along.’


Late Middle English (in remainder): from Anglo-Norman French, from Latin remanere (see remain).