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

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 ˌempty ˈnest

the situation that parents are in when their children have left home: the empty nest syndrome
See also: empty, nest

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
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
Even "after Matthew's death, Shepard says Logan's departure for college did not trigger a case of empty-nest syndrome.
After her daughter moved to Florida, Chaffee said she suffered from empty-nest syndrome.
I'm suffering empty-nest syndrome now that my 20-year-old student niece Leo has flown back to college in France.
Scheuer, a professional illustrator for more than 20 years, adopted Lucy and three other chicks - which she said she selected to be colorful lawn ornaments - as her own pre-emptive empty-nest syndrome when her daughter, now 16, became a teenager.
Dear Coleen, THE last of my three kids has left home and I think I'm suffering from empty-nest syndrome.
It's enough to send a shudder through the heart of any parent, and not just because of empty-nest syndrome.
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.
Her condition is thought to have been sparked by the girls leaving home and, although just the night before she went missing she and David had travelled south to bring Emma home from university for Christmas, Wendy's empty-nest syndrome had left the devoted mother feeling very low.