There are 2 main definitions of welsh in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

welsh1

Syllabification: welsh
Pronunciation: /welSH
 
/
(also welch)

verb

[no object] (welsh on)
Fail to honor (a debt or obligation incurred through a promise or agreement): banks began welshing on their agreement not to convert dollar reserves into gold
More example sentences
  • He still owes me a housecleaning and babysitting from months back and anyone who welches on a promise isn't deserving of accolades.
  • Toni smiled, settling down, realizing Jared wasn't welching out on his promise.
  • It allows people to welsh on their debts, and it is telling that creditors who submitted were unanimously opposed to this.

Origin

mid 19th century: of unknown origin.

Derivatives

welsher

1
noun
Example sentences
  • Over the years they devised an elaborate numbers game to determine who picked up the tab for the table thus ensuring any welchers among them had to ante up their share from time to time.
  • In other words, we have money, but no plan on what to do with it, or more important, how to achieve our goals so we don't look like welchers on the world stage.
  • Chili ends up pretty quickly in California, certain the welcher is alive and living the life of a high roller on the money he owes.

Words that rhyme with welsh

milch • Walsh • mulch

Definition of welsh in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

There are 2 main definitions of welsh in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

Welsh2

Syllabification: Welsh
Pronunciation: /welSH
 
/

adjective

Of or relating to Wales, its people, or their Celtic language.
Example sentences
  • I have Welsh parentage, Welsh ancestry, was taught the Welsh language at school, and indeed I have lived in Wales.
  • In the grounds stood The Little House, a gift from the people of Wales built of Welsh materials to perfect two-thirds scale.
  • I wish my Welsh language skills were up to the job of reading the poems in the original.

noun

Back to top  
1The Celtic language of Wales, spoken by about 500,000 people (mainly bilingual in English). Descended from the Brythonic language spoken in most of Roman Britain, it has been strongly revived after a long decline.
Example sentences
  • Iris was brought up to speak Welsh as her first language and was able to switch from one language to the other with great ease.
  • Gaelic began to eclipse Welsh, though Welsh was still spoken in some areas in the mid-12th cent.
  • Children go to local schools, become acculturated in their turn and speak Welsh.
2 (as plural noun the Welsh) The people of Wales collectively.
Example sentences
  • The castle stands high above a crossing point of the river Wye, an area taken from the Welsh by the Normans only in the late C11.
  • They want British national identity to be extended to them on the same basis that it is to the English, the Scots and the Welsh.
  • Considerable vestiges of these remained among the Welsh in the time of the Saxon Heptarchy.

Origin

Old English Welisc, Wælisc, from a Germanic word meaning 'foreigner;' compare with Latin Volcae, the name of a Celtic people in southern Gaul.

More
  • walnut from (Old English):

    For the Anglo-Saxons and other ancient peoples of northern Europe the walnut was the ‘foreign nut’. The nut they knew was the hazelnut, and walnuts would have been exotic imports from the Roman world of the south. The wal- part comes from Volcae, the Latin name for a particular Celtic tribe that the Germanic peoples came to use for all Celts (it is where Welsh (Old English) and Wales come from) and eventually for anyone not of Germanic stock.

Derivatives

Welshness

1
noun
Example sentences
  • It talks about Welshness, and how good it is to be Welsh.
  • At the heart of his vocations as poet and priest, one finds dynamic tensions between belonging and not belonging, between Welshness and Englishness, between belief and uncertainty.
  • When the University of Wales at Aberystwyth was established, its links with European culture were initially emphasized rather than its Welshness.

Definition of welsh in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.