See more synonyms for residual on
  1. pertaining to or constituting a residue or remainder; remaining; leftover.
  2. Mathematics.
    1. formed by the subtraction of one quantity from another: a residual quantity.
    2. (of a set) having complement of first category.
  3. of or relating to the payment of residuals.
  4. Medicine/Medical. remaining in an organ or part following normal discharge or expulsion: residual air.
  5. Geology. remaining after the soluble elements have been dissolved: residual soil.
  1. a residual quantity; remainder.
  2. Often residuals. something that remains to discomfort or disable a person following an illness, injury, operation, or the like; disability: His residuals are a weak heart and light-headedness.
  3. Mathematics.
    1. the deviation of one of a set of observations or numbers from the mean of the set.
    2. the deviation between an empirical and a theoretical result.
  4. Navigation. a slight deviation of an adjusted compass on a certain heading.
  5. Usually residuals. additional pay given to a performer for reruns, repeated use of a film, radio or TV commercial, or the like, in which the performer appears.

Origin of residual

1550–60; < Latin residu(um) what is left over (noun use of neuter of residuus left over, equivalent to resid(ēre) to be left over, literally, remain seated (see reside) + -uus deverbal adj. suffix) + -al1
Related formsnon·re·sid·u·al, adjective, nounun·re·sid·u·al, adjective
Can be confusedresidual residue

Synonyms for residual

See more synonyms for on
1. continuing, lasting, enduring, lingering. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for residual

Contemporary Examples of residual

Historical Examples of residual

British Dictionary definitions for residual


  1. of, relating to, or designating a residue or remainder; remaining; left over
  2. (of deposits, soils, etc) formed by the weathering of pre-existing rocks and the removal of disintegrated material
  3. of or relating to the payment of residuals
  1. something left over as a residue; remainder
  2. statistics
    1. the difference between the mean of a set of observations and one particular observation
    2. the difference between the numerical value of one particular observation and the theoretical result
  3. (often plural) payment made to an actor, actress, musician, etc, for subsequent use of film in which the person appears
Derived Formsresidually, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for residual

1560s, from residue + -al (1), or from French résiduel, from Latin residuum.


1550s, in mathematics, from residual (adj.) or from residue + -al (2). Residuals "royalties" attested by 1960.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

residual in Medicine


  1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a residue.
  2. Remaining as a residue.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.