from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Health, happiness, and good fortune; well-being.
- n. Prosperity.
- n. Welfare work.
- n. Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to people in need.
- n. Corporate welfare.
- idiom on welfare Receiving regular assistance from the government or private agencies because of need.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Health, safety, happiness and prosperity; well-being in any respect.
- n. Various forms of financial aid provided by the government to those who are in need of it (abbreviated form of Welfare assistance).
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Well-doing or well-being in any respect; the enjoyment of health and the common blessings of life; exemption from any evil or calamity; prosperity; happiness.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A state or condition of doing well; prosperous or satisfactory course or relation; exemption from evil; state with respect to well-being: as, to promote the physical or the spiritual welfare of society; to inquire after a friend's welfare; to be anxious about the welfare of a ship at sea.
- n. A source of well-being; a blessing; a good.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. governmental provision of economic assistance to persons in need
- n. something that aids or promotes well-being
- n. a contented state of being happy and healthy and prosperous
Middle English, from wel faren, to fare well, from Old English wel faran : wel, well; see well2 + faran, to get along; see fare.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English wel faran "wellness" (cognate with Old Norse velferð, Swedish välfärd and Dutch welvaart.) Equivalent to well + fare. (Wiktionary)