WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
wel•fare /ˈwɛlˌfɛr/USA pronunciation   n. [uncountable]
  1. health, happiness, and prosperity;
    well-being.
  2. Governmentassistance given by government to those in need;
    public relief:He is receiving welfare. He is on welfare.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
wel•fare  (welfâr′), 
n. 
  1. the good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, etc., of a person, group, or organization;
    well-being:to look after a child's welfare; the physical or moral welfare of society.
  2. GovernmentSee welfare work. 
  3. Governmentfinancial or other assistance to an individual or family from a city, state, or national government:Thousands of jobless people in this city would starve if it weren't for welfare.
  4. Government(cap.)[Informal.]a governmental agency that provides funds and aid to people in need, esp. those unable to work.
  5. Governmenton welfare, receiving financial aid from the government or from a private organization because of hardship and need.
Etymology:
  • Middle English, from phrase wel fare. See well1, fare 1275–1325


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:
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