Definition of remains in English:


plural noun

  • 1The parts left over after other parts have been removed, used, or destroyed:

    ‘the remains of a sandwich lunch were on the table’
    • ‘He had finished cleaning and was now pouring the leftover coffee on the remains of the fire.’
    • ‘The camera is there when the women finally return to inspect the remains of their homes.’
    • ‘After eating it, she trashed the remains in the elegant wastebasket.’
    • ‘Night had fallen a couple of hours ago and the rescue teams weren't even close to removing us from beneath the remains of our school.’
    • ‘The point is that the industrial remains should be removed, the dunes rehabilitated and the rocks carted away so as to create more space for the public to enjoy.’
    • ‘However, the burnt-out remains are yet to be removed.’
    • ‘Jack put down the few remains of the sandwich and looked up at me.’
    • ‘The construction of a raised planting feature can incorporate any material remains that exist within the soil.’
    • ‘A short, stocky man chewing violently on the remains of a huge sandwich nodded at Alex and scooted over to make room.’
    • ‘The terrain in the Falaise area held the charred and destroyed remains of German weapons, equipment, and vehicles, and the bloated bodies of thousands of dead horses.’
    • ‘Alex tossed the remains of his sandwich in the garbage nearby and brushed his hands off.’
    • ‘Lou, behind us, they have floodlit the almost destroyed remains of the front of the U.N. headquarters.’
    • ‘Minutes later, as everything cleared, the rubble and remains were disturbed.’
    • ‘I rolled, coming to rest behind the crushed remains of a large potted plant.’
    • ‘Most of the other marines had taken up positions in barracks or in the cratered remains of bunkers destroyed by their grenadier.’
    • ‘It had been completely destroyed, and he couldn't even locate the remains.’
    • ‘The remains and debris were drawn back into the centre.’
    • ‘A young, female arm slipped round from behind him and removed the dissected remains of what was some kind of fish dish.’
    • ‘The dashboard was littered with the tattered remains of my new audio book.’
    • ‘As he lifted me to my feet, he followed my gaze to the destroyed remains of the door.’
    remainder, residue, 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, remnant, remnants
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    1. 1.1 Historical or archaeological relics:
      ‘Roman remains’
      • ‘Of the many known kinds of cannibalism, five are now attested in archaeological remains.’
      • ‘It is a dramatic conceptual shift, which can be seen in the archaeological remains.’
      • ‘Archaeological remains suggest this was contemporary with, but larger than, the western settlement.’
      • ‘The remains from prehistoric times show that the country was inhabited when the present Hungarian lowlands were covered by the ocean.’
      • ‘From this perspective, the archaeological remains start to reveal a very different picture.’
      • ‘The archaeological remains of Chambal lie in the range of 40 Km. from Gwalior, easily accessible by road.’
      • ‘How are we to understand the social significance of these archaeological remains?’
      • ‘What is less obvious is the effect that coastal processes have on archaeological remains.’
      • ‘It is an area of some archaeological interest, for it is believed that there are significant archaeological remains from the Roman and Mediaeval eras.’
      • ‘The discovery emphasises the risk to archaeological remains in ploughsoil.’
      • ‘The preliminary results show two main phases to the visible archaeological remains.’
      • ‘Large refuse dumps of Late Mycenaean remains were found throughout the excavated area.’
      • ‘The Island's Norse settlement was predated by the Celts, evidence for which comes in the form of archaeological remains of roundhouses and hill forts.’
      • ‘Archaeological remains have been found of altars, Harappan script and crafts.’
      • ‘Regrettably this can still result in ancient remains being left to decay or even being destroyed.’
      • ‘Among the archaeological remains even an industrial wastes landfill found its place.’
      • ‘Surely this does call for some ‘hard surfacing’ to be constructed provided archaeological remains are not compromised.’
      • ‘Archaeological remains in Denmark and Britain show that it was used to make string and cloth in Neolithic times.’
      • ‘Archeological remains can illuminate how and where early cultures lived, stored food and produced tools.’
      • ‘Well, the beginnings are to be found in archaeological remains in Mesopotamia, the Ancient Near East.’
      antiquities, relics
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    2. 1.2 A person's body after death:
      ‘he left instructions regarding the disposal of his remains’
      • ‘When they died, their companions destroyed their remains.’
      • ‘Remorseful, Mona figures that the least she can do is find her boyfriend's mortal remains, so that his soul can be put to rest.’
      • ‘He was part of the mortuary team that removed remains.’
      • ‘Later his remains were disinterred and removed for permanent burial in France.’
      • ‘We actually could get in and dig through the debris and look for remains.’
      • ‘The rest of the remains are burned and the ashes are scattered over the ground.’
      • ‘But at least they have the remains now to put the rest somewhere that they can go and pray for this beautiful woman.’
      • ‘Then, five years later, after the war, in 1947, climbers found aircraft wreckage and human remains.’
      • ‘After some controversy Nicholas's remains were interred alongside his ancestors in the Petropavlovsk Cathedral in St Petersburg.’
      • ‘The site was originally designed to hold Emperor Hadrian's remains following his death in AD 138.’
      • ‘He was inspecting the remains of the girl, I was about to approach him when he turned around and I realised who it was.’
      • ‘Her remains are resting in Sweeny's Funeral Home, with visitation 7-9 p.m. today.’
      • ‘For days, local fishermen and other volunteers combed the sea for wreckage and the grisly remains of the 229 people who perished.’
      • ‘Excavations revealed the remains of many individuals buried there over a long period.’
      • ‘There's a very slim chance they could determine cause of death from these remains.’
      • ‘But we seem to ignore their death and disrespect their remains.’
      • ‘His remains have since been removed to the Forensic Science Centre, where an autopsy is expected to be conducted today.’
      • ‘There is no tradition in this country that human remains should never be removed.’
      • ‘I was wondering, are they still actively looking for the anchors and the rest of the remains?’
      • ‘When the remains are removed from the hospital, normal funeral procedures must be followed.’
      corpse, dead body, body, cadaver, carcass
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Late Middle English (occasionally treated as singular): from Old French remain, from remaindre, from an informal form of Latin remanere (see remain).