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the prodigal son

One who has returned after spending time away doing or pursuing something that was not condoned by the family or organization they had left, and who is now repentant for their actions. The phrase comes from a parable in the Bible about a son who leaves his father to seek his fortune and returns humbled. Well, looky here, the prodigal son has returned. Guess you didn't like that fancy new company that poached you last year.
See also: prodigal, son
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

prodigal son

a person who leaves home to lead a spendthrift and extravagant way of life but later makes a repentant return.
The biblical parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15: 11–32 tells the story of the spendthrift younger son of a wealthy man who leaves home and wastes all his money. When he repents of his extravagant ways and returns home, he is joyfully welcomed back by his father. See also kill the fatted calf (at fatted).
See also: prodigal, son
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a/the prodigal ˈson

(formal, disapproving or humorous) a person who leaves home as a young man and wastes his money and time on a life of pleasure, but who is later sorry about this and returns to his family: All the family went to the airport to welcome home the prodigal son.This expression comes from a story in the Bible.
See also: prodigal, son
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
BEIRUT: The tale of the prodigal son is one of the favorite tropes of the Western tradition.
This article explores the reading of the Prodigal Son's self-talk though the lenses of a metacognitive-dialogical paradigm.
The song and dance sequences in The Prodigals were impressive.
As the name suggests the musical is a modern version of the Biblical parable of the prodigal son in a military setting - Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
The Prodigals tells the story of one man and his two sons, one who leads a high-risk life of excess and success with his band, and the other who seeks security within his father's Scottish regiment.
She would put out fat for all the various woodpeckers and the Prodigals would be Johnny-on-the-spot, taking opportunity of some of that.
The more intriguing question is, why would the prodigal want to come back?
Special expectations arise any time Miami City Ballet stages Prodigal Son.
The word "prodigal" appears more often in The Merchant of Venice than in any other play of Shakespeare's, yet the relevance to the play of the parable of the Prodigal Son has excited little critical attention.(1) Not only is Bassanio called "prodigal" by himself and Shylock, but Shylock also calls Antonio "a prodigal," and Gratiano alludes to the parable of the Prodigal Son just before Lorenzo elopes with Jessica.
The 20-year-old from Pentyrch, Cardiff, was confirmed to star in new musical The Prodigals, to play at the festival throughout August at the Gilded Balloon venue.
Performers from military musical The Prodigals: A Man Had Two Sons had crowds clapping along during a ten-minute performance in the busy square.
The Prodigals BELGRADE THEATRE, COVENTRY FORMER X Factor contestant Sarah Watson, who has been cast in the new Belgrade musical The Prodigals, led a street dance workshop at a city secondary school.
"Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home" was written by licensed parent and family educator Lori Wildenberg specifically for parents walking the difficult road with a wayward child.