I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from the phrase wel faren to fare well Date: 14th century 1. the state of doing well especially in respect to good fortune, happiness, well-being, or prosperity <
must look out for your own welfare
2. a. aid in the form of money or necessities for those in need b. an agency or program through which such aid is distributed II. adjective Date: 1903 1. of, relating to, or concerned with welfare and especially with improvement of the welfare of disadvantaged social groups <
welfare legislation
2. receiving public welfare benefits <
welfare families

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Welfare — Wel fare , n. [Well + fare to go, to proceed, to happen.] 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. [1913 Webster] How to study… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • welfare — [wel′fer΄] n. [ME < wel faren, to fare well: see WELL2 & FARE] 1. the state of being or doing well; condition of health, happiness, and comfort; well being; prosperity 2. a) the organized efforts of government agencies that grant aid to the… …   English World dictionary

  • welfare — [wɛlfɛʀ] n. m. ÉTYM. 1972, in l Express; mot anglais. ❖ ♦ Aux États Unis, Politique d action sociale; administration qui en est chargée. || « Le fonctionnement des grandes bureaucraties fédérales, notamment le welfare » (le Nouvel Obs., 1er janv …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • welfare — O.E. wel faran condition of being or doing well, from wel (see WELL (Cf. well) (adv.)) + faran get along (see FARE (Cf. fare) (v.)). Cf. O.N. velferð. Meaning social concern for the well being of children, the unemployed, etc. is first attested… …   Etymology dictionary

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  • welfare — ► NOUN 1) the health, happiness, and fortunes of a person or group. 2) action or procedure designed to promote the basic physical and material well being of people in need. 3) chiefly N. Amer. financial support given for this purpose. ORIGIN from …   English terms dictionary

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