come away empty-handed

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come 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 came away empty-handed, thanks to another fourth-place finish. Don't come away from the dessert table empty-handed—bring me a piece of cake!
See also: away, come
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

come away empty-handed

to return without anything. All right, go gambling. Don't come away empty-handed, though. Go to the bank and ask for the loan again. This time don't come away empty-handed.
See also: away, come
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
But by coming away empty handed we've put pressure on ourselves for the much tougher away trips coming up.
After meeting twice and coming away empty handed in recent weeks, Grangetown were victors after coming out like greyhound out of a trap.
A SENSATIONAL strike from David McClune clinched victory over a hard-working Beath who will feel aggrieved at coming away empty handed.
Though coming away empty handed Keith Knight for Kingsmith had a good match.
David was compensated for coming away empty handed from this year's Brit Awards when he received the prize for best R&B act and best UK & Ireland act.