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empty nest

Definition of Empty Nest

(noun) A home or a family in which only a parent or parents remain after the children grow up and leave.

Examples of Empty Nest

Empty Nest Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: emp·ty nest

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /EmptI nEst/
  • British English – /EmptI nEst/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈɛmpti nɛst/
  • British English – /ˈɛmpti nɛst/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: empty nests
  • Adult children that leave the home but return are called boomerang children or adultolescents.
  • An (noun) empty nester experiences (noun) empty nest syndrome when children leave.

Additional Information

Related Terms

Works Consulted

Henslin, James M. 2012. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).

Cite the Definition of Empty Nest

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “empty nest.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved April 17, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/empty-nest/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

empty nest. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/empty-nest/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “empty nest.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed April 17, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/empty-nest/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“empty nest.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 17 Apr. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/empty-nest/>.