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it remains to be seen

Something is not yet clear, certain, or known. We can see for ourselves the disaster's immediate impact, but it remains to be seen what the long-term environmental effects will be. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the president's popularity on other issues will carry over into this more controversial endeavor.
See also: remains, seen, to

remain ahead of (someone or something)

1. To stay physically in front of something or someone. The Kenyan runner remained ahead of the others for the duration of the race. You remain ahead of us and act as a scout for any danger.
2. To continue to be in a position to deal with something before it becomes a problem or a burden. We'll want to remain ahead of any problems that may crop up between now and the project's launch date. We try to remain ahead of any issues between employees by cultivating an environment of trust and open communication.
3. To continue to be on or ahead of one's target, schedule, or responsibility for work. I'm having trouble remaining ahead of my deadlines, lately. They're making it harder and harder for us to remain ahead of our sales quotas. Thankfully, the construction crew was able to remain ahead of schedule throughout the build, so we should be able to move into the house before winter.
4. To continue to be in a position that is better or more advanced than others. Their research facility receives a huge amount of funding from the government, which has allowed them to remain ahead of the curve in their field for the last 50 years. With its intuitive design, accessible interface, and affordable pricing, their latest video game console has remained ahead of the pack for the last few years.
See also: ahead, of, remain

remain at (something or some place)

1. To continue to be physically present at or in some place or thing; to stay (behind) at some place or thing. I wish you wouldn't remain at the office for such long hours. One of my men will remain at the station to make sure Robert arrives safely.
2. To continue to work for some company. A lot of my colleagues transferred to different companies, but I remained at FlemCo for nearly 30 years out of some misplaced sense of loyalty. He announced that he will remain at the company despite the recent allegations against him.
See also: remain

remain away (from someone or something)

1. To maintain a distance from someone or something. Make sure you remain away from that cliff—one gust of wind could send you flying right over the edge! She warned the children to remain away from the old man who lived on the corner of their neighborhood. I've remained away for so long that I hardly even remember what it's like in this city.
2. To forbear from interacting with someone, engaging in something, or using something. The judge ordered him to remain away from any and all financial business activities for a minimum period of 5 years. I want you to remain away from that group of kids, you hear me? They're trouble! I know that Susan is the wrong woman for me, but I simply cannot bring myself to remain away.
See also: away, remain, someone

remain behind

1. To continue to be physically present at or in some place or thing after other people have left. One of my men will behind to make sure Robert arrives safely. Tom always remains behind in the office to do work in peace.
2. To persist despite efforts to be removed. There's a lot to love about their newest video game, but it's clear that some technical issues have remained behind from its troubled development period. We had a whole bunch of QA testers working on the software, but it looks like some bugs remained behind in version being shipped to retailers.
See also: behind, remain

remain down

1. To continue to be at a lower physical position. The flag will remain down for the rest of the week in honor of the soldiers who were killed in the attack. The officers told us to remain down until the area had been secured.
2. To continue to be at a diminished or weakened emotional or physical state. We tried cheering Tom up, but his spirits remained down for the rest of the day. Even though I had mostly recovered from the 'flu, I still remained down for the better part of the summer.
3. To continue to be at a diminished level of output or activity. The markets are expected to remain down for several weeks as a result of the company's surprise bankruptcy. Our productivity has remained down ever since Bill went on sick leave.
4. To continue to be inactive or inoperative. The website remained down for several days due to technical issues. We were hoping the elevator would be working by now, but it remains down.
See also: down, remain

remain in (something or some place)

1. To continue to be inside of something or some place. We need someone to remain in the house in case Lauren shows up late. He was instructed by the judge to remain in the country while out of prison on bail.
2. To continue to be a member of a group, organization, company, etc. I decided to remain in the army, despite my negative experiences. She said she would remain in the company for at least a year.
See also: remain

remain in touch

To maintain contact with another person, especially at intervals so as to stay up to date with each other's lives. My old high school friends and I tried remaining in touch after we graduated, but we all started drifting apart once college got underway. Now, make sure you remain in touch, OK? I want to hear all about your time in Paris!
See also: remain, touch

remain on

1. To continue to be atop or aboard (something). The plane landed and arrived at the gate, but the captain instructed everyone to remain on until they were given the signal to leave. I would like for this picture to remain on the mantelpiece, if you don't mind. It's very precious to me.
2. To continue to be present at some place. I think I'll remain on for a while and make sure that Tommy settles in all right with the other kids. They said I could remain on with the company as a consultant.
3. To continue to serve as a member of some group or body. Despite widespread calls for his resignation, Smith vowed to remain on the city council for as long as he was legally able. I'm not longer receiving a salary from the company, but they asked me to remain on the board of directors.
4. To continue regularly and continually taking a certain medication. My doctor wants me to remain on blood thinners until my cholesterol is lowered enough. You'll likely remain on antipsychotic medication for the rest of your life.
5. To continue having some current, active status. We'll have to remain on our guard while we're in this part of the city. Mike and I broke up several months ago, but we've remained on good terms.
See also: on, remain

remain on guard

To continue to be especially careful, vigilant, or attentive; to stay prepared for danger or surprises. A possessive pronoun can be used between "on" and "guard." We'll have to remain on our guard while we're in this part of the city. I want you to remain on guard while I go inside and scope the place out.
See also: guard, on, remain

remain to be seen

To not yet be clear, certain, or known. We can see for ourselves the disaster's immediate impact, but the long-term environmental effects remain to be seen. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the president's popularity on other issues will carry over into this more controversial endeavor.
See also: remain, seen, to

remain under (something)

1. To continue to be physically beneath something or some surface. I remained under the blankets until the scary noises in the house went away. You can't remain under the ice of a frozen lake for more than a few of minutes without getting hypothermia. The dog always remained under the table throughout the meal in hopes of getting a few scraps.
2. To continue to be unconscious, especially when it has been medically induced, as by anesthetic. In this usage, no noun or pronoun comes after "under." The vast majority of patients remain under throughout the entirety of their surgery, though it is technically possible to wake up in the middle of it. How long do you expect her to remain under, Doc?
3. To continue to be subject to someone's authority, rule, or control. We've remained under this dictatorship for the last 60 years—it's all we know. I remained under the senator even when I disagreed with her policies.
4. To continue to be subject to some ongoing conditions or circumstances. The CEO will remain under investigation his involvement with the company's illegal activity can be determined. She remained under house arrest for nearly two years.
5. To continue to be undergoing or receiving some the effects of some ongoing process. I'd like the patient to remain under observation for a few more days. She must remain under constant care until the wound is healed.
See also: remain

remain up

1. To continue to be at a raised or higher position. The flags should remain up throughout the entire ceremony. Don't lower them until everyone has left the stage. I don't want our Christmas lights remaining up all the way into the spring like they did last year!
2. To continue to be displayed in a prominent place or position. The judge ruled that the inflammatory posters could remain up, as they were under the protection of the first amendment. She apologized for her rude remarks on social media, but they remained up for days afterward.
3. To continue to be awake. My mom usually remains up until around 12 o'clock, so we definitely won't be able to sneak out without her noticing. You're always complaining about how tired you are, so I don't know why you remain up so late each night.
See also: remain, up

remain with (someone or something)

1. To continue to be physically present alongside someone or something. I want at least two armed guards to remain with the prisoner at all times, do you understand? John decided to remain with the truck while I went off in search of help.
2. To continue to be a member of a group, team, organization, company, etc. The star quarterback could sign with any team in the country, but he decided to remain with his home team in Denver. She said she would remain with the company for at least another year.
3. To continue to be in a romantic relationship with someone. I don't understand why she would remain with a jerk like him. I know my dad remained with my mom out of a misplaced sense of propriety and duty, not because he loved her.
See also: remain

remain within (something)

1. To continue to be physically inside (of some place or thing). The hostages were allowed to leave the building, but the gunmen remained within. This electric collar ensures that our dogs remain within the boundaries around our property.
2. To continue not to exceed some fixed limits or parameters. Thankfully the radiation levels inside of the power plant remained within acceptable levels throughout the earthquake. Your weight has remained within the threshold of what we would consider normal, but you should still make a point of eating better and getting exercise. I know he has trouble remaining within his budget each month.
3. To continue not to break or go outside of the scope of something. I want to see justice done as much as anyone, but we must remain within the law to do it! We'll have to remain within the terms of this treaty if we want to continue getting foreign aid.
See also: remain, within
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

remain behind

to stay at a place even when others have left. Can't I go too? Do I have to remain behind? I will remain behind for a day or two.
See also: behind, remain

remain down

to stay down; to keep down. I asked them to remain down until the shooting stopped. Please remain down with me so no one will see us.
See also: down, remain

remain in touch

(with someone or something) Go to keep in touch (with someone or something).
See also: remain, touch

remain on

1. to continue to stay in one place. (The on is an adverb, not a preposition.) Everyone else left, but I decided to remain on there. I remained on for a while during the time they were training my replacement.
2. and remain on something to continue to be on something; to continue to serve on a body. Will you remain on the board of directors for another year? I will remain on this committee as long as I am needed.
3. to continue to take a particular medicine. How long should I stay on these pills? I want you to remain on this medication until you run out.
See also: on, remain

remain on

(one's) guard (against someone or something) Go to on (one's) guard (against someone or something).
See also: on, remain

remain up

to stay awake and out of bed. I remained up throughout most of the night. I cannot remain up much longer.
See also: remain, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

it remains to be seen

COMMON If you say it remains to be seen, you mean that nobody knows what will happen or whether something will happen. It still remains to be seen what kind of after-effects she will suffer in the future. It remains to be seen whether her parliamentary colleagues will agree.
See also: remains, seen, to
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

it remains to be seen

something is not yet known or certain.
1996 Scientific American It remains to be seen how well Russian and U.S. spacefarers will work together…in the more demanding environment of a space station under construction.
See also: remains, seen, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in classic literature ?
Preferring Venice before all other cities of Europe, and having arranged to remain there until the family meeting took place, what unexpected event had led Henry to alter his plans?
In fact, the ambassador, as he himself has declared, was never authorized to make that demand, and as soon as I was informed of it I let him know how much I disapproved of it and ordered him to remain at his post.
Consequently formations rich in fossils and sufficiently thick and extensive to resist subsequent degradation, may have been formed over wide spaces during periods of subsidence, but only where the supply of sediment was sufficient to keep the sea shallow and to embed and preserve the remains before they had time to decay.
"Remain here in camp awaiting further instructions from him or from me.
There he would join them and remain for a while before continuing on toward the coast and the little cabin that his father had built beside the land-locked harbor at the jungle's edge.
All gone--only I remain. I promised his majesty, and when he returns he will find that I was true to my trust, for I shall be awaiting him.
Some of the fifty Indians who had remained on the south side of the river, perceived what was going on, and, feeling themselves too weak for an attack, gave the alarm to those on the opposite side, upwards of a hundred of whom embarked in several large canoes.
Nevertheless, he collected all the strength which remained to him for a final effort.
They were both very unhappy, but agreed to make the best of things and to remain with one another.
and as I repeated it enthusiastically, it seemed to have a certain familiarity for my ear,--as though it were the name of some famous beauty or some popular actress,--yet the exact association eluded me, and obviously it was better it should remain a name of mystery.
"Yes, I came hither to converse confidentially with General Monk, and ask him for an answer regarding certain interests; yes, the general being, doubtless, unable to pronounce before the expected battle, begged me to remain a week in the house I inhabit, promising me that in a week I should see him again.
The broad avenues were lined with women and children, among which were the few men whose duties necessitated that they remain within the city during the battle.
There remained but a handful of brown warriors in one end of the boat when the advantage of utilizing their knowledge of the river and of navigation occurred to Number Thirteen.
Perhaps the president of a corps notices that one of the membership who is no longer an exempt--that is a freshman-- has remained a sophomore some little time without volunteering to fight; some day, the president, instead of calling for volunteers, will APPOINT this sophomore to measure swords with a student of another corps; he is free to decline--everybody says so--there is no compulsion.
MY curiosity, in a sense, was stronger than my fear, for I could not remain where I was, but crept back to the bank again, whence, sheltering my head behind a bush of broom, I might command the road before our door.