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n. pl. chil·dren (chĭl′drən)
a. A person between birth and puberty.
b. A person who has not attained maturity or the age of legal majority.
a. An unborn infant; a fetus.
b. An infant; a baby.
3. One who is childish or immature.
4. A son or daughter; an offspring.
5. A member of a tribe; descendant: children of Abraham.
a. An individual regarded as strongly affected by another or by a specified time, place, or circumstance: a child of nature; a child of the Sixties.
b. A product or result of something specified: "Times Square is a child of the 20th century" (Richard F. Shepard).
with child

[Middle English, from Old English cild.]

child′less adj.
child′less·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.childlessness - the condition of being without offspring
situation, state of affairs - the general state of things; the combination of circumstances at a given time; "the present international situation is dangerous"; "wondered how such a state of affairs had come about"; "eternal truths will be neither true nor eternal unless they have fresh meaning for every new social situation"- Franklin D.Roosevelt
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
She was elderly and fragile, but her childlessness seemed always to impose these painful duties on her, and to revere the family, and to keep it in repair, had now become the chief object of her life.
Then she thought of herself and Billy, healthy shoots of that same stock, yet condemned to childlessness because of the trap of the manmade world and the curse of being herded with the stupid ones.
The support and sensitivity of their health care providers during and following failed treatment has also been identified as significant in couples' ability to cope with involuntary childlessness (Daniluk, 2001; Leiblum & Greenfeld, 1997).
Levels of childlessness for these women will be much less than previously estimated.
It hits me as so personal--a test of my childlessness, a residual of those long-ago miscarriages, the abortion.
Longman argues that "patriarchy" is returning because differential birthrates favor "the emergence of a new society whose members will disproportionately be descended from parents who rejected the social tendencies that once made childlessness and small families the norm.
"The childlessness of an Isaac Newton or a George Washington, the extinction of the Lincoln Family, the spinsterhood of the brightest girl in the class," he mourned, "are great biological tragedies." At his most perversely romantic, he spoke of breeding a "secular savior."
In its formal response the Joint Scrutiny committee, made up from representatives from each local authority, recommends that the definition of childlessness should be "those with no children from their own or any previous relationship".
Repeated references to pregnancy and others' children suggest central couple's own childlessness has something to do with it, along with the becalmed passion that often sets in after 15 years of togetherness.
Leslie Cannold's book, What, no baby?, is an outstanding contribution to both research on childlessness and to the fertility debate.
Shah Infecundity, Infertility and Childlessness in Developing Countries
The authors have found no study that addressed the influence of religious practices, biblical texts, and a spiritual environment on the dynamics of coping with crises often experienced by couples who are infertile and who transition into childlessness. Twenty-five couples from the greater New York area who were referred by religious leaders participated in an in-depth interview to share their experiences.