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A family home inhabited by parents after their children have grown up and departed. Many parents feel depressed when they are left in an empty nest.
cuckoo in the nest
Someone in a group who is seen as different and ostracized by their peers. Since Sam always got good grades and never got in trouble, he was seen by his unruly peers as a cuckoo in the nest.
A mess; a disorganized pile. Boy, these clothes are a hurrah's nest right now—can you help me sort them?
1. A dangerous, complicated situation. If we do invade, I fear that we will find ourselves in a real hornet's nest.
2. A situation that produces angry reactions. The politician's off-the-cuff remark about pollution stirred up a hornet's nest among environmentalists.
1. A home where a loving and affectionate couple lives. The newlyweds couldn't wait to start building their love nest when they returned from their honeymoon.
2. A place where two people meet secretly to have a romantic affair. Nobody but Judy knew that Sheila and Bob had a love nest near the office for their midday rendezvous.
A difficult, complicated, or confusing situation. The tax laws in this country are a mare's nest that nobody fully understands.
An allotment of money that is set aside for the future. With the cost of living these days, it is difficult for young couples to build a nest egg and save for retirement.
birds in their little nests agree
Housemates should try to treat each other amicably. Even though I know that birds in their little nests agree, I can't seem to stop myself from arguing with my sister all the time.
A cluster of dust and dirt. It is typically associated with things that have not been recently cleaned or used. When was last time you swept in here? There are massive dust bunnies behind the couch! Ever since the accident, Jamie's poor, neglected guitar has been just sitting in the corner, collecting dust bunnies.
empty nest syndrome
Feelings of sadness experienced by parents after all of their grown children have moved out. Now that our youngest is away at college, my husband and I are going through empty nest syndrome. I thought I would enjoy having a quiet house again, but it actually makes me sad—I guess I'm suffering from empty nest syndrome.
feather (one's) own nest
To utilize one's position at work for one's own monetary gain. The CEO was fired following allegations that he was feathering his own nest with donations to the company.
fly the nest
To move out of one's parents' house for the first time. I'm so nervous to fly the nest and start college this fall because I've never lived on my own before. I can't believe my little girl is getting ready to fly the nest. I'm so proud and so sad all at once!
leave the nest
To move out of one's parents home for the first time, most typically when going into third-level education. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I can't believe my little girl is getting ready to leave the nest. I'm so proud and so sad all at once! While it is liberating for most teenagers, leaving the nest can be a very emotionally challenging period in one's life.
Birds in their little nests agree.
Prov. People who live together should try hard to get along peacefully. (Usually used to admonish children not to fight with each other.) Brother: She called me a name! Sister: I did not! He's a liar! Father: Now, now, kids—birds in their little nests agree. Let's not argue about this, guys. Birds in their little nests agree.
dust bunnyand a dust kitten; a turkey's nest
Kg. a clump of dust and lint. She swept the dust bunnies out from under the bed. There's a huge dust kitten behind the chiffarobe. He hasn't cleaned in weeks. There are turkey's nests in every corner.
feather one's (own) nest
1. Fig. to decorate and furnish one's home in style and comfort. (Alludes to birds lining their nests with feathers to make them warm and comfortable.) With the new family room and expanded kitchen, they seem to have feathered their nest quite comfortably.
2. Fig. to use power and prestige to provide for oneself selfishly. (Said especially of politicians who use their offices to make money for themselves.) The mayor seemed to be helping people, but she was really feathering her own nest. The building contractor used a lot of public money to feather his nest.
foul one's own nest
Fig. to harm one's own interests; to bring disadvantage upon oneself. (Alludes to a bird excreting into its own nest. See also It's an ill bird that fouls its own nest.) He tried to discredit a fellow senator with the president, but just succeeded in fouling his own nest. The boss really dislikes Mary. She certainly fouled her own nest when she spread those rumors about him.
It's an ill bird that fouls its own nest.
Prov. Only a foolish or dishonorable person would bring dishonor to his or her self or his or her surroundings.; Only a bad person would ruin the place where he or she lives. (See also foul one's own nest.) I don't like my new neighbor. Not only does he never mow his lawn, he covers it with all kinds of trash. It's an ill bird that fouls its own nest.
nest in something
to build a nest in something and live in it. Some mice nested in a corner of the garage. The birds nested in the eaves.
to fit together or within one another compactly. These mixing bowls nest together. I want some of those Russian wooden dolls that nest together.
stir up a hornet's nest
Fig. to create a lot of trouble. (Fig. on stir something up .) If you say that to her, you will be stirring up a hornet's nest. There is no need to stir up a hornet's nest.
The home of parents whose children have grown up and moved out. For example, Now that they had an empty nest, Jim and Jane opened a bed-and-breakfast. This expression, alluding to a nest from which baby birds have flown, gave rise to such related ones as empty-nester, for a parent whose children had moved out, and empty-nest syndrome, for the state of mind of parents whose children had left. [c. 1970]
feather one's nest
Acquire wealth for oneself, especially by taking advantage of one's position or using the property of others. For example, Bill's many profitable consulting assignments enabled him to feather his nest quite comfortably . This expression alludes to birds making a soft nest for their eggs. [Mid-1500s]
foul one's nest
Also, foul one's own nest. Hurt one's own interests, as in With his constant complaints about his wife, he's only fouling his own nest. This metaphoric expression transfers a bird's soiling of its nest to human behavior. [Mid-1200s]
stir up a hornets' nest
Make trouble, cause a commotion, as in Asking for an audit of the treasurer's books stirred up a hornets' nest in the association. This metaphoric term, likening hornets to angry humans, dates from the first half of the 1700s.
stir up a hornet's nest
If you stir up a hornet's nest, you do something that makes a lot of people very upset and angry. He has been asking a lot of questions and stirring up a hornet's nest around town. I seem to have stirred up a hornet's nest with my article about the teaching of Shakespeare in schools. Note: Sometimes people just talk about a hornet's nest. It's not that companies are unaware of illegal software. It's more that they are scared of uncovering a hornet's nest — they would simply rather not know. Wasserman had no idea what a hornet's nest he was stepping into. Note: A hornet is a large wasp with a powerful sting.
feather your nest
If someone feathers their nest, they take advantage of their job or position in order to get a lot of money, so that they can lead a comfortable life. People seem to feel that politicians only care about helping out their rich friends and feathering their own nests. Note: This expression is used to show disapproval. Note: Some birds line their nests with soft feathers which they take from their own breasts or gather from the ground.
fly the nestor
leave the nest
When children fly the nest or leave the nest, they leave their parents' home to live on their own. When their children had flown the nest, he and his wife moved to a cottage in Dorset. One day the children are going to leave the nest and have their own lives. Compare with fly the coop.
foul your own nestLITERARY
If someone fouls their own nest, they do something which harms themselves and damages their chances of success. Man has invented a hundred ways of fouling his own nest — the grime, the pollution, the heat, the poisons in the air, the metals in the water.
a nest egg
COMMON A nest egg is a sum of money that you are saving for a particular purpose. All he wanted was a few months decent money to help him retire. He thought this was his last chance to build a nest egg. She left, and with her nest egg of $5,000, started the company.
n. money saved for some important purpose, such as retirement. I lost most of my nest egg in the market crash.
feather (one's) nest
To grow wealthy by taking advantage of one's position or by making use of property or funds left in one's trust.