Let $R = k[x_1, ..., x_n]$ be a polynomial ring over a field k, and let $I \subset{} R$ be an ideal. Let $\{g_1, ..., g_t\}$ be a Groebner basis for $I$. For any $f \in{} R$, there is a unique `remainder' $r \in{} R$ such that no term of $r$ is divisible by the leading term of any $g_i$ and such that $fr$ belongs to $I$. This polynomial $r$ is sometimes called the normal form of $f$.
For an example, consider symmetric polynomials. The normal form of the symmetric polynomial f with respect to the ideal I below writes f in terms of the elementary symmetric functions a,b,c.
i1 : R = QQ[x,y,z,a,b,c,MonomialOrder=>Eliminate 3];

i2 : I = ideal(a(x+y+z), b(x*y+x*z+y*z), cx*y*z)
o2 = ideal ( x  y  z + a,  x*y  x*z  y*z + b,  x*y*z + c)
o2 : Ideal of R

i3 : f = x^3+y^3+z^3
3 3 3
o3 = x + y + z
o3 : R

i4 : f % I
3
o4 = a  3a*b + 3c
o4 : R
