go away empty-handed

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go away empty-handed

To return from an experience or event without having gained anything. I worked so hard to prepare for the competition, and I still went away empty-handed, thanks to another fourth-place finish. Don't go away from the dessert table empty-handed—bring me a piece of cake!
See also: away, go

go away empty-handed

Fig. to depart with nothing. I hate for you to go away empty-handed, but I cannot afford to contribute any money. They came hoping for some food, but they had to go away empty-handed.
See also: away, go