empty-handed

adjective
emp·​ty-hand·​ed | \ ˌem(p)-tē-ˈhan-dəd How to pronounce empty-handed (audio) \

Definition of empty-handed

1 : having or bringing nothing
2 : having acquired or gained nothing came back empty-handed

First Known Use of empty-handed

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about empty-handed

Share empty-handed

Statistics for empty-handed

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for empty-handed

The first known use of empty-handed was in 1549

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for empty-handed

empty-handed

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of empty-handed

: without having, carrying, or bringing anything

empty-handed

adjective
emp·​ty-hand·​ed | \ ˌemp-tē-ˈhan-dəd\

Kids Definition of empty-handed

1 : not carrying or bringing anything I can't show up at the party empty-handed.
2 : having gotten or gained nothing He left the contest empty-handed.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on empty-handed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with empty-handed

Spanish Central: Translation of empty-handed

Nglish: Translation of empty-handed for Spanish Speakers

Comments on empty-handed

What made you want to look up empty-handed? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to boil down or concentrate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!