Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

welfare /ˈwɛlˌfɛə/ n
  1. health, happiness, prosperity, and well-being in general
  2. financial and other assistance given to people in need
  3. (as modifier): welfare services
  4. Also called: welfare work plans or work to better the social or economic conditions of various underprivileged groups
  5. on welfarechiefly US Canadian in receipt of financial aid from a government agency or other source
Etymology: 14th Century: from the phrase wel fare; related to Old Norse velferth, German Wohlfahrt; see well1, fare

'Welfare' also found in these entries:
In the English description:

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