Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Prosperity; happiness.
  • noun The welfare of the community; the general good.
  • noun A ridge on the flesh raised by a blow; a welt.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Same as wale.
  • noun Wealth; riches; hence, prosperity; success; happiness; well-being; the state of being well or prosperous: as, come weal or woe.
  • noun The state: properly in the phrases common weal, public weal, general weal, meaning primarily ‘the common or public welfare,’ but used (the first now as a compound word) to designate the state (in which weal used alone is an abbreviation of commonweal).
  • noun Same as wed.
  • To be in woe or want.
  • To promote the weal or welfare of.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A sound, healthy, or prosperous state of a person or thing; prosperity; happiness; welfare.
  • noun obsolete The body politic; the state; common wealth.
  • transitive verb To mark with stripes. See wale.
  • noun The mark of a stripe. See wale.
  • transitive verb obsolete To promote the weal of; to cause to be prosperous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a raised, longitudinal wound, usually purple, on the surface of flesh caused by stroke of rod or whip; a welt.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a raised mark on the skin (as produced by the blow of a whip); characteristic of many allergic reactions

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English wele, from Old English wela; see wel- in Indo-European roots.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Alteration (influenced by wheal) of wale.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

See wale

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English wela.

Examples

  • III. iv.76 (474,6) Ere human statute purg'd the gentle weal] The _gentle weal_, is, the _peaceable community_, the state made quiet and safe by

    Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies

  • Answered the husbandman, “O my lord, weal is well nigh. 62 Dismount thee here: the town is near hand and I will go and fetch thee dinner and fodder for thy stallion.”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • It is the high ambition of most women to become wives; and they count not the cost as to whether it will end in weal or woe; but they venture themselves, and their future "for better or worse."

    A Manual of Etiquette with Hints on Politeness and Good Breeding

  • In every free State where conjunctures like the present are not foreseen, you must be sensible that the public weal is endangered by every storm.

    News Report

  • In every free State where conjunctures like the present are not foreseen, you must be sensible that the public weal is endangered by every storm.

    News Report

  • In every free State where conjunctures like the present are not foreseen, you must be sensible that the public weal is endangered by every storm.

    News Report

  • The resurrection of the dead, that is, of dead bodies; and their re-union with their souls, to be eternal companions together in weal or woe, according as their state was towards God when they died, and the course of life they led in this world.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume VI (Acts to Revelation)

  • If the generous youth find not a companion to console him, weal is forever cut off from him and ill is eternally established with him; and there is nothing for the sage but to solace himself in every event with brethren and be constant in patience and endurance: indeed these two are praiseworthy qualities, and both uphold one under calamities and vicissitudes of the world and ward off startling sorrows and harrowing cares, come what will.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • When the ships were laden with water and victual, weapons and troops, Sayf al-Muluk’s father and mother farewelled him and King Asim said, Depart, O my son, and travel in weal and health and safety.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Such an arrangement is required by the public weal, which is never committed with greater safety to the custody of any one than to his whose private advantage is entirely unconnected, with the issue.

    The Works of James Arminius, Vol. 1

Comments

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  • (n): Prosperity, happiness; The welfare of the community, the general good.

    February 5, 2009

  • I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things. Isaiah 45:7 NRSV translation.

    March 17, 2012