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
References in periodicals archive ?
Afterwards the Fir Park boss was still struggling to comprehend how his team gone away empty handed.
A lot of great players have gone away empty handed from here."
"Our record at Deepdale has compared well to the top clubs, all of whom have gone away empty handed," reflected Preston boss Gary Peters.