1. residuum, remnant, excess, rest, overage. 2. Remainder, balance, residue, surplus refer to a portion left over. Remainder is the general word (the remainder of one's life ); it may refer in particular to the mathematical process of subtraction: 7 minus 5 leaves a remainder of 2. Balance, originally a bookkeeper's term referring to the amount of money left to one's account (a bank balance ), is often used as a synonym for remainder : the balance of the day. Residue is used particularly to designate what remains as the result of a process; this is usually a chemical process, but the word may also refer to a legal process concerning inheritance: a residue of ash left from burning leaves. Surplus suggests that what remains is in excess of what was needed: a surplus of goods.