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’
    • ‘The camera is there when the women finally return to inspect the remains of their homes.’
    • ‘I rolled, coming to rest behind the crushed remains of a large potted plant.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It had been completely destroyed, and he couldn't even locate the remains.’
    • ‘The construction of a raised planting feature can incorporate any material remains that exist within the soil.’
    • ‘Jack put down the few remains of the sandwich and looked up at me.’
    • ‘He had finished cleaning and was now pouring the leftover coffee on the remains of the fire.’
    • ‘The remains and debris were drawn back into the centre.’
    • ‘After eating it, she trashed the remains in the elegant wastebasket.’
    • ‘A short, stocky man chewing violently on the remains of a huge sandwich nodded at Alex and scooted over to make room.’
    • ‘Alex tossed the remains of his sandwich in the garbage nearby and brushed his hands off.’
    • ‘As he lifted me to my feet, he followed my gaze to the destroyed remains of the door.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The dashboard was littered with the tattered remains of my new audio book.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A young, female arm slipped round from behind him and removed the dissected remains of what was some kind of fish dish.’
    • ‘However, the burnt-out remains are yet to be removed.’
    • ‘Most of the other marines had taken up positions in barracks or in the cratered remains of bunkers destroyed by their grenadier.’
    • ‘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.’
    remainder, residue, remaining number, remaining part, remaining quantity, number left over, part left over, quantity left over, number that is left over, part that is left over, quantity that is left over, rest, remnant, remnants
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Historical or archaeological relics.
      ‘Roman remains’
      • ‘Among the archaeological remains even an industrial wastes landfill found its place.’
      • ‘Archaeological remains have been found of altars, Harappan script and crafts.’
      • ‘The discovery emphasises the risk to archaeological remains in ploughsoil.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is an area of some archaeological interest, for it is believed that there are significant archaeological remains from the Roman and Mediaeval eras.’
      • ‘From this perspective, the archaeological remains start to reveal a very different picture.’
      • ‘Of the many known kinds of cannibalism, five are now attested in archaeological remains.’
      • ‘Archaeological remains in Denmark and Britain show that it was used to make string and cloth in Neolithic times.’
      • ‘Surely this does call for some ‘hard surfacing’ to be constructed provided archaeological remains are not compromised.’
      • ‘Large refuse dumps of Late Mycenaean remains were found throughout the excavated area.’
      • ‘Regrettably this can still result in ancient remains being left to decay or even being destroyed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The remains from prehistoric times show that the country was inhabited when the present Hungarian lowlands were covered by the ocean.’
      • ‘The preliminary results show two main phases to the visible archaeological remains.’
      • ‘The archaeological remains of Chambal lie in the range of 40 Km. from Gwalior, easily accessible by road.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What is less obvious is the effect that coastal processes have on archaeological remains.’
      • ‘How are we to understand the social significance of these archaeological remains?’
      antiquities, relics
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A person's body after death.
      ‘he left instructions regarding the disposal of his remains’
      • ‘Excavations revealed the remains of many individuals buried there over a long period.’
      • ‘He was inspecting the remains of the girl, I was about to approach him when he turned around and I realised who it was.’
      • ‘Then, five years later, after the war, in 1947, climbers found aircraft wreckage and human remains.’
      • ‘For days, local fishermen and other volunteers combed the sea for wreckage and the grisly remains of the 229 people who perished.’
      • ‘When the remains are removed from the hospital, normal funeral procedures must be followed.’
      • ‘Later his remains were disinterred and removed for permanent burial in France.’
      • ‘Her remains are resting in Sweeny's Funeral Home, with visitation 7-9 p.m. today.’
      • ‘After some controversy Nicholas's remains were interred alongside his ancestors in the Petropavlovsk Cathedral in St Petersburg.’
      • ‘I was wondering, are they still actively looking for the anchors and the rest of the remains?’
      • ‘The rest of the remains are burned and the ashes are scattered over the ground.’
      • ‘His remains have since been removed to the Forensic Science Centre, where an autopsy is expected to be conducted today.’
      • ‘We actually could get in and dig through the debris and look for remains.’
      • ‘But we seem to ignore their death and disrespect their remains.’
      • ‘There is no tradition in this country that human remains should never be removed.’
      • ‘But at least they have the remains now to put the rest somewhere that they can go and pray for this beautiful woman.’
      • ‘The site was originally designed to hold Emperor Hadrian's remains following his death in AD 138.’
      • ‘When they died, their companions destroyed their remains.’
      • ‘He was part of the mortuary team that removed remains.’
      • ‘There's a very slim chance they could determine cause of death from these 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.’
      corpse, dead body, body, cadaver, carcass
      View synonyms


Late Middle English (occasionally treated as singular): from Old French remain, from remaindre, from an informal form of Latin remanere (see remain).