Definition of welcome in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈwɛlkəm/


1An instance or manner of greeting someone: you will receive a warm welcome [mass noun]: he went to meet them with his hand stretched out in welcome
More example sentences
  • In Korea, like Japan, walking into a shop or restaurant will usually result in a hail of welcomes and other ritualized greetings from the employees.
  • A warm welcome is extended to the people who have come to live in the parish.
  • Regardless of that result, the team are still likely to receive a warm welcome when they return to the Showgrounds on Saturday to face Limerick.
greeting, salutation, hail, welcoming;
reception, warm reception, favourable reception, acceptance, hospitality, red carpet;
Scottish & Irish  fáilte
1.1A pleased or approving reaction: the announcement received an immediate welcome from childcare agencies
More example sentences
  • Nonetheless, the plan has received a cool welcome from many agencies.
  • Martin's plan was given a generally positive welcome in the immediate aftermath of its publication.


Used to greet someone in a polite or friendly way: welcome to the Wildlife Park
More example sentences
  • If you're reading this, especially if you're a first time reader: welcome!


[with object]
1Greet (someone arriving) in a polite or friendly way: hotels should welcome guests in their own language (as adjective welcoming) a welcoming smile
More example sentences
  • When guests visit you, it is polite to welcome them with kind words and serve them what you have.
  • The website has a very friendly and welcoming layout.
  • One of the keys to hospitable service is greeting people with a smile and welcoming attitude.
greet, say hello to, salute, bid someone welcome, play host/hostess to, show hospitality to, receive, meet, embrace, receive with open arms, roll out the red carpet for, fete;
usher in
1.1Be glad to entertain (someone) or receive (something): we welcome any comments
More example sentences
  • Most tower captains are glad to welcome visitors, explain what happens and offer to teach learners.
  • In addition to welcoming visitors, the restored house will also host literary evenings and celebrations.
  • They welcome new members and ideas on how best to entertain the visitors when they arrive in September.
1.2React with pleasure or approval to (an event or development): the bank’s decision to cut its rates was widely welcomed
More example sentences
  • Having requested such a debate in advance of Mr Adams' proposal, the Green Party welcomes these recent developments.
  • The coup was widely welcomed by the population, who hope for both their wages and for elections.
  • The opposition parties then welcomed the fresh start for the assembly.
express pleasure/satisfaction at, be pleased by, be glad about, take pleasure in, approve of, appreciate, accept, embrace
informal give the thumbs up to


1(Of a guest or new arrival) gladly received: I’m pleased to see you, lad—you’re welcome
More example sentences
  • So your website must be ready to receive this welcome guest.
  • I've been in restaurants in Brussels where I felt like a welcome guest in somebody's home.
  • Ahmad has helped him out and is always a welcome guest.
gladly received, wanted, appreciated, popular, desirable, acceptable, accepted
2Very pleasing because much needed or desired: after your walk, the tea room serves a welcome cuppa the news will be most welcome to those whose jobs will now be safeguarded
More example sentences
  • Please take a look and any additions are most welcome!
  • Volunteer helpers are also welcome and adults are allowed to join the mountain biking activities.
  • The cool air from the windows allowed a welcome breeze carrying the scent of pineapples and pomegranate.
pleasing, agreeable, encouraging, gratifying, heartening, promising, refreshing, favourable, propitious, cheering, much needed, pleasant, to one's liking, to one's taste
3 [predicative, with infinitive] Allowed or invited to do a specified thing: we arrange a framework of activities which you are welcome to join
More example sentences
  • Please feel welcome to come and join in, if you enjoy singing, or just enjoy the sound.
  • All current members and interested community members are encouraged and most welcome to attend.
  • People can express any opinion or concept they desire and anyone is welcome to take part.
3.1 (welcome to) Used to indicate relief at relinquishing the control or possession of something to someone else: the job is all yours and you’re welcome to it!
More example sentences
  • Well Roger, if you want it back. then you are welcome to it.



make someone welcome

Receive and treat someone hospitably: thank you for the way you made me welcome when I arrived
More example sentences
  • If anyone wants to play a more regular part in the daily life of the centre and help muck-out or groom their adopted animal, they will be made welcome.
  • Businesses will leave and go to other cities or towns where they will be made welcome.
  • There's no doubt that there are some very professional clubs in this league and they are looking forward to playing us and making us welcome.

outstay (or overstay) one's welcome

Stay as a visitor longer than one is wanted: he makes you feel you’ve outstayed your welcome before you’ve even sat down
More example sentences
  • Finally the moment came when I knew I had to leave as I had already stayed for dinner and overstayed my welcome.
  • Another way of dissuading the geese from overstaying their welcome in the park is limiting their food supply by keeping grass cut extremely short and imposing fines on people feeding them.
  • By overstaying his welcome, however, he may have deprived himself of the glorious exit that his achievements deserve.

you are welcome

Used as a polite response to thanks: ‘Thank you for your help.’ ‘You’re welcome.’



Example sentences
  • And then, rushing in with a gust of air that was welcomely cool, Miss Halden bolted inside.
  • Until now Brad has somewhat unexpectedly but very welcomely filled the role.
  • A rich, warm voice drifted welcomely into my ear.


Pronunciation: /ˈwɛlkəmnəs/
Example sentences
  • If we want a better future for this nation, we need to give everybody a sense of welcomeness and invite everybody to work hard and to study hard.
  • The emotions that most explain customer intentions to return to midscale hotels are comfort, welcomeness and security.
  • When I refused the third time, all the welcomeness I had received instantly evaporated.


Pronunciation: /ˈwɛlkəmə/
Example sentences
  • I feel like a welcomer at Disneyland, having to stand and smile while untutored children kick my ankles and throw over-priced snack foods at me.
  • I'm sorry I couldn't meet you sooner,’ Lien blandly told his welcomers.
  • We best be off before our three welcomers decide to wake up.


Example sentences
  • The politics of the war are purposefully and welcomingly left out of the film.
  • She smiled welcomingly at the jury.
  • The period houses have been carefully preserved, right down to the stone lanterns that stand welcomingly outside the little wooden homes.


Old English wilcuma 'a person whose coming is pleasing', wilcumian (verb), from wil- 'desire, pleasure' + cuman 'come'. The first element was later changed to wel- 'well', influenced by Old French bien venu or Old Norse velkominn.

  • well from Old English:

    The well meaning ‘in a good way’ and well ‘shaft giving access to water’ are different Old English words. The first provides the first half of welfare (Middle English). The start of welcome (Old English), on the other hand, is from another Old English element, wil- meaning ‘pleasure’—welcome originally meant ‘a person whose arrival is pleasing’. Wealth (Middle English) has a basic sense of ‘well-being’, being formed from well in the same way that health (Old English) is formed from hale ( see wassail). The title of Shakespeare's comedy All's Well that Ends Well was already an old saying when he wrote the play at the beginning of the 17th century. The first record of the proverb is as early as 1250. People have been well endowed only since the 1950s, but men could be well-hung in the early 17th century. At this time it meant ‘having large ears’ as well as ‘having a large penis’. The well you get water from is Old English wella ‘spring of water’, of Germanic origin, from a base meaning ‘boil, bubble up’,

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: wel|come

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