I am looking for the word for someone who never shows any symptoms of a disease. I am not looking for the word asymptomatic.

Asymptomatic is often used for people who initially display no symptoms but go on to develop symptoms as the disease progresses.

I have read a medical report with this term in it but I can't remember it.

Note: The following was added to this question only after the first answer was provided.

I remember reading it as: [something]symtomacis and [something]-symtomatic. for example - wordsymtomatic and word-symtomatic.

Found it! The word is paucisymptomatic. Also written pauci-symptomatic.

  • 3
    I've understood that asymptomatic means someone who doesn't experience or display any symptoms of the disease.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 22, 2020 at 8:37
  • 3
    " who initially display no symptoms but go on to develop symptoms" that's the incubation period, that has little to do with people with asymptomatic disease.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 22, 2020 at 8:38
  • 4
    You seem to be on a wild goose chase.Your understanding of "asymptomatic" seems faulty - it does not depend on duration. You can be asymptomatic today and show symptoms tomorrow, or be asymptomatic today and never show symptoms, i.e. permanently asymptomatic.A disease or condition can also be asymptomatic (=clinically silent.). See also en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Mallon
    – Greybeard
    May 22, 2020 at 9:37
  • 2
    I updated your question so it's obvious that you hadn't been asking for [something]symtomcis at the time that @lumbrjak provided an answer. Otherwise, if it had been there, that answer would have clearly not been what was asked for—and could produce downvotes. At the time the question was asked, carrier was a perfectly reasonable response. Generally speaking, you don't want to edit questions in a way that invalidates any existing answers. May 22, 2020 at 13:03
  • 2
    'Paucisymptomatic' might be the answer you've been looking for, but as per your question, it's wrong. Check the definition. May 22, 2020 at 18:39

2 Answers 2


Asymptomatic means simply "not exhibiting any symptoms at the current time". It does not even even imply (absent context suggesting otherwise) that one is infected, and someone who is infected might be "asymptomatic" at one point and later become "symptomatic" (and hence no longer "asymptomatic"). Or someone (a "typhoid Mary") could have an infection for days, weeks, months, years and remain "asymptomatic" the entire time.

Paucisymptomatic, on the other hand, means having few symptoms ("pauci" meaning "a few"). It does not imply having no symptoms at all. And, as with "asymptomatic", it doesn't imply anything about past or future conditions, only the present state.

  • 1
    To paraphrase a comment I made under the question, this answer is clearly not what was asked for. The question very specifically says, "I am not looking for the word asymptomatic." If you want to ignore the question and provide this as an answer anyway, you need to give better guidance as to why no other answer could be possibly correct. (Such as carrier from the other answer, which actually is a word that isn't asymptomatic.) And also, after the latest round of edits, you need to say why paucisymptomatic can not possibly be correct either. May 22, 2020 at 22:47
  • @JasonBassford - "paucisymptomatic" means having a paucity of symptoms, not none at all.
    – Hot Licks
    May 22, 2020 at 23:48
  • Better. But why is carrier obviously not the right answer either? If you're going to go against the specific request for a word in the question, it seems there's a lot more onus on you to argue against any answer other than what you provide. Actually being immune to it (as in the definition of carrier) seems like a stronger word than just asymptomatic, which, as you yourself say, means only not having symptoms in the moment. The question asked about never showing symptoms. May 23, 2020 at 0:51
  • @JasonBassford - "Carrier" doesn't (rigorously) imply anything about the presence or absence of symptoms. Someone who has the disease but no symptoms would be referred to as an "asymptomatic carrier" (look it up).
    – Hot Licks
    May 23, 2020 at 0:54
  • The very definition of carrier, as already provided in the other answer, but also from this link, clearly does say exactly that in some cases. If you are immune to something it's not possible to ever have any symptoms. May 23, 2020 at 0:56

From Merriam-Webster unabridged

a person, animal, or plant that harbors and transmits the causative agent of an infectious disease; especially : one who carries the causative agent systemically but is asymptomatic or immune to it

The infamous Typhoid Mary is an example of a carrier of the causative agent of Typhoid fever.

  • That isn't the word I remember reading it was [something]symtomacis and can be written [something]-symtomatic. But thank you very much, "carrier" does help
    – Sue Brown
    May 22, 2020 at 7:31
  • Thank you I found the word. It is paucisymptomatic!
    – Sue Brown
    May 22, 2020 at 11:56
  • I edited the question to make it clear that at the time you answered it, this was a reasonable answer. Without my note, and before I checked the question's edit history, I had been thinking of downvoting this answer because I had assumed it clearly isn't what had been asked for. However, given that the updated criteria weren't there when you provided this answer, it's probably what I would have given myself (+1). May 22, 2020 at 12:59
  • @Jason Much obliged for the attention to detail. I was the first to answer and figured I'd nailed it according to the question at the time.
    – lumbrjak
    May 22, 2020 at 21:28
  • 1
    Although the asymptomatic caveat is not a required part of the definition of 'carrier', the 'especially' here would seem to make this the default sense, so a/the correct answer. May 23, 2020 at 13:12

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