Childlessness. Child less ness
. A state of being childless. Childless, is, in itself, a state. Ergo, childlessness is in fact a state2
. This might make it many things! Perhaps it's a metastate
! Or even an uberState
! Heaven forfend
, it might even be an antistate
if in fact two wrongs make a right.
The vote is still out on whether or not it's a good thing. A swiftly-overloading Apache process will tell you unequivocally that it completely sucks /dev/null. A well-off bachelor with an Exotic car might tell you it's the best thing going. Don't even try asking women, whether they are in the metastate or not; they might kick you out of state. It's a hormonal thing.
Why, then, does Webster1913 have this def. in here? Is Webby, perhaps, feeling lonely? Does it long for a child of its very own? Perhaps we might allow it to adopt that unwanted abortion of a dictionary that Microsoft will be putting out. Or perhaps it would rather not. Now, if offered a comparison between that small onetm and, say, the brand-spanking-new edition of the OED, then maybe the state of childlessness would be hard to hold on to.
Maybe we could drum up more interest with more interesting words. I like nulliparous and oviparous myself, although they really only describe women. Perhaps they might be loaned to describe this state, which suffers from a slightly recursive nom de guerre.
Then again, I sometimes consider my beer my child. And, good heavens, I'm in a state of childlessness. Over to you.