a remaining, usually small part, quantity, number, or the like.
a fragment or scrap.
a small, unsold or unused piece of cloth, lace, etc., as at the end of a bolt.
a trace; vestige: remnants of former greatness.
remaining; leftover.

1300–50; Middle English remna(u)nt, contraction of remenant < Old French, present participle of remenoir to remain

remnantal, adjective

1. remainder, residue, residuum, rest, remains. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
remnant (ˈrɛmnənt)
1.  (often plural) a part left over after use, processing, etc
2.  a surviving trace or vestige, as of a former era: a remnant of imperialism
3.  a piece of material from the end of a roll, sold at a lower price
4.  remaining; left over
[C14: from Old French remenant remaining, from remanoir to remain]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1350, from O.Fr. remanant, prop. prp. of remanoir "to remain" (see remain). Specific sense of "end of a piece of drapery, cloth, etc." is recorded from 1433.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
At the former stadium sites, the only remnants are plaques and the names, which
  are attached to housing projects.
Most researchers think of them as microscopic pinpricks, the remnants of stars
  that have collapsed under their own weight.
We nuzzle up to land and jump onto the remnants of a sea wall.
Don't overlook remnants when shopping for a countertop.
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