empty nest

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empty nest

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.
See also: empty, nest
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

empty 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]
See also: empty, nest
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

the ˌempty ˈnest

the situation that parents are in when their children have left home: the empty nest syndrome
See also: empty, nest
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

empty nest, empty nester

A home from which the grown children have moved out, leaving some unoccupied bedrooms; also, the parent(s) in such a home. The term has also given rise to “empty nest syndrome,” the feelings of sadness engendered by the situation. An NBC sitcom entitled Empty Nest aired from 1988 to 1995. The expression dates from the second half of the 1900s.
See also: empty, nester
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
It's enough to send a shudder through the heart of any parent and not just because of empty-nest syndrome. Money (both the parent's and the student's)--or lack thereof.
Mansell highlights "empty-nest syndrome" beautifully and it sets the scene for the rest of the book.
"Depression affects up to one third of women at this stage of life, and this research makes it harder to say that the mood disorder is related solely to life circumstances like empty-nest syndrome or stress," says Hadine Joffe, MD, MSc, Director of Endochrine Studies at Massachusetts General Hospital's Perinatal and Reproductive Psychiatry Clinical Research Program.
The most common types often occur with greatest frequency at a time in life when women are experiencing such life stressors as menopause, empty-nest syndrome and the aging of parents.
Perhaps I'm indulging in premature empty-nest syndrome. My children aren't that old; we still have years before my fledglings will be on their own.
Even "after Matthew's death, Shepard says Logan's departure for college did not trigger a case of empty-nest syndrome. "I know a lot of rooms whose whole life was their children.
'Then you get the empty-nest syndrome. The desire to live a more traditional lifestyle occurs when children arrive, so couples move into a detached house.
Was there an "empty-nest syndrome," and what impact did this have on the marriage partners?
It's enough to send a shudder through the heart of any parent, and not just because of empty-nest syndrome. Money (both the parent's and the student's) or lack thereof.
There's the divorced business executive figuring out how to date again (Vickie Daignault), the devoted mother and wife dealing with empty-nest syndrome (Rosalyn Rahn Kerins) and other vague but easily identifiable figures taking on life as all women do or will eventually know it.
``I started when my family had got a bit older, but some people start because of the empty-nest syndrome - one consultant recently started with us after retiring because she likes company.''