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

1. continuing, lasting, enduring, lingering. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for residual

Contemporary Examples of residual

Historical Examples of residual

British Dictionary definitions for residual



of, relating to, or designating a residue or remainder; remaining; left over
(of deposits, soils, etc) formed by the weathering of pre-existing rocks and the removal of disintegrated material
of or relating to the payment of residuals


something left over as a residue; remainder
  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
(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




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