Definitions

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

Etymologies

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

Middle English, from wel faren, to fare well, from Old English wel faran : wel, well; see well2 + faran, to get along; see fare.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English wel faran "wellness" (cognate with Old Norse velferð, Swedish välfärd and Dutch welvaart.) Equivalent to well +‎ fare.

Examples

  • Just like #welfare cures poverty. jeromeflipo Has human adaptability (to natural and social environment) increased over time feesch @nbk1 healthy is beyond physical - can welfare state or planet cope with rising population What are side effects of human lab rats dallaslistings Supervisors needed for our Outdoor Human Directionals!!!

    Gaea Times (by Simple Thoughts) Breaking News and incisive views 24/7

  • In America, the term welfare is almost a dirty word.

    THE COMMANDING HEIGHTS

  • It would give new meaning to the term "welfare state" if abortion was banned!

    USATODAY.com News

  • The research says that when white Americans, for example, hear the term welfare, for the majority of us, it conjures up a negative connotation regarding blacks.

    CNN Transcript Sep 19, 2009

  • "Maybe we should start dumping the term welfare," she said.

    Evening Standard - Home

  • In case you don't realize, the term welfare means a state of well-being for all of us, not just the Limbaughs or the Bushs or even the Obamas.

    Think Progress

  • I assume the term welfare will soon be outlawed as we push political correctness off the edge of the American cliff.

    seMissourian.com Headlines

  • When money is given to the poor, republicans call it welfare and they b! tch about it.

    Think Progress » ThinkFast: February 16, 2010

  • It was the favorite saying of a wealthy girl I dated briefly at school, a marketing major and self-described libertarian with sentimental notions of family and contempt for what she called the welfare state.

    Valhalla After Dark

  • The reality is it's not just race, Michael Steele's right about that, but when you have folks like Mark Williams one of the key organizers of the T Party (ph) movement calling the President and Indonesian Muslim and welfare thug on his blog, those are racially loaded terms, the research says that when white Americans for example hear the term welfare, for the majority of us it conjures of a negative notation regarding blacks.

    CNN Transcript Sep 16, 2009

Comments

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  • "Charity begins at home." - Publius Terentius Afer

    July 30, 2008

  • When I have thought of the welfare of the earth, the problems of its health and preservation, the care of its life, I have had this place before me ... Wendell Berry "A Native Hill"

    July 19, 2008