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In Black Widow (2021), Black Widow is on the ship. Inside the building, a soldier finds ladies washroom empty and returns back to Ross:

Soldier: Got an empty nest, Secretary Ross. Her tracker, sir.

What does "empty nest" mean in this context?

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It means that they didn't find her where she was expected to be.

There's a common metaphor in English that "the bird has flown", meaning the person you're looking for has disappeared or escaped. This is linked to that — the bird (Black Widow) has left her nest (the building they expected to find her in) so it's empty.

There is also an idiomatic meaning for "empty nest" which is a house where the adult children have moved out and only the parents are left, but that doesn't make sense in this case.

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  • Black Widow is not a bird. Jul 26 '21 at 17:42
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    It doesn't mean that she is literally a bird. It's a description — if a bird has left its nest, the nest will be empty. In this scenario, the woman has left the building, so the building is empty. Jul 26 '21 at 17:50

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