Is there a word (adjective or noun) for people who has no children, just like single for people who is not married?

I looked on the internet and found the word childfree, but it seems to describe a lifestyle preference instead of being a simple statement of fact.


The word is childless.

This is neither positive nor negative in tone, and does not imply whether the couple remains without children by choice or by some other circumstance (e.g. one partner might be sterile.)

  • Some native speakers regard "childless" and "childfree" to have implications; others regard "childless" to be neutral and "childfree" to imply "by choice". You will find many discussions online arguing this exact point. – jonathanjo May 1 '19 at 15:02
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    Note that many people would very much disagree that "childless" doesn't have a tone. Frankly, we don't have a commonly used 100% neutral word for it. The common usage is to say the phrase along the lines of "doesn't have children." – Jimbo Jonny Mar 1 '20 at 8:24

You can say "childless". There are probably other alternatives.

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    That's exactly the word and a good answer; a dictionary reference and an example would make it a great one. – Lucky Jun 6 '15 at 8:19

Barren • archaic (of a woman) infertile. synonyms: infertile, sterile, childless; technicalinfecund "a barren woman" antonyms: fertile

• (of a female animal) not pregnant or unable to become so.

  • It's certainly not a current word for having no children, but readers of Shakespeare or the bible are likely to come across it. – jonathanjo May 1 '19 at 15:13

There is the word nulliparous, which is a medical term for not having children (whether by choice or by infertility).

Wordnik defines the adjective as:

nulliparous (adj.) Of the condition of a nullipara.

while nullipara is defined as:

nullipara (noun) obstetrics A woman who has never given birth.

This is not a word you would encounter very often, and other options (like childless) would usually be more appropriate for everyday conversation.

  • You will only find this in medical context, where it is related to "nulligravid" (never pregnant) and unrelated to whether any of the children are still living. – jonathanjo May 1 '19 at 15:09
  • 1) Having given birth doesn't mean you currently have children. 2) This is woman specific, and OP specifically asked for a word for people in general. So this is doubly not applicable to the question. – Jimbo Jonny Mar 1 '20 at 8:22

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