Definition of welfare in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈwɛlfɛː/


[mass noun]
1The health, happiness, and fortunes of a person or group: they don’t give a damn about the welfare of their families
More example sentences
  • He said that the health, safety and welfare of officers was always of concern.
  • Provision for the pupils' care, health, safety and welfare is very good.
  • After a month or so a programme of home visits begins, and enquiries are made about the health and general welfare of each family.
well-being, health, good health, happiness, comfort, security, safety, protection, prosperity, profit, good, success, fortune, good fortune, advantage, interest, prosperousness, successfulness
2Statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need: the protection of rights to education, housing, and welfare
More example sentences
  • Social welfare service employees and municipal inspectors are also on strike.
  • To be sure, every increase in wages and social welfare measures boosts demand.
  • Mr. Rector has advocated devoting much more federal welfare money for promoting marriage.
2.1chiefly North American Financial support given to those who are unemployed or otherwise in need: critics feared an increase in inequalities in the provision of welfare
More example sentences
  • We know that real jobs are a better guarantee of prosperity for the unemployed than welfare.
  • The workers are demanding an expansion and prompt payment of welfare benefits to the unemployed.
  • The Government wants to keep putting up taxes in order to support its welfare expenditure.
social security, benefit, state benefit, benefit payment, public assistance;
allowance, pension, credit, support;
sick pay, sickness benefit, unemployment benefit/pay


Middle English: from the adverb well1 + the verb fare.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: wel|fare

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