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When a child loses his parents, he is referred to as an orphan.

If a woman loses her husband, she is considered a widow.

But if a parent loses their child, what do we call them? Childless? Childless doesn't make much sense, as if the parents never had children to begin with.

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marked as duplicate by ermanen, Daniel, thinly veiled question mark, medica, Mari-Lou A Aug 26 at 8:33

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If they are left childless as a result of a child's death, it would be "tragically childless" or "mortally childless". –  jxh Aug 26 at 3:02

2 Answers 2

I don't know of a specific word for this situation, but bereaved parents fits. To bereave means to suffer a profound loss, especially through the death of a loved one. Associating the word with "parent" will indicate the loss of a child.

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If it is an only child we can use the word shidu (or shidu parents) which has been recently introduced into English from Chinese.

Wikipedia explains:

Shidu (失独) is a phenomenon denoting the loss of a parent's only child. The parents who have lost their only child are known as shidu fumu in China.

This might be a bit more specific than what you're looking for but can't hurt to consider.

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