AskDefine | Define welfare

The Collaborative Dictionary

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 for the people's welfare. --Shak. [1913 Webster] In whose deep eyes Men read the welfare of the times to come. --Emerson. [1913 Webster]

Word Net



1 governmental provision of economic assistance to persons in need [syn: social welfare]
2 something that aids or promotes well-being; "for the common good" [syn: benefit]
3 a contented state of being happy and healthy and prosperous; "the town was finally on the upbeat after our recent troubles" [syn: wellbeing, well-being, upbeat, eudaemonia, eudaimonia] [ant: ill-being]

Moby Thesaurus

ADC, Easy Street, Medicaid, Medicare, advantage, affluence, aid, alimony, allotment, allowance, almsgiving, altruistic, annuity, assistance, avail, bed of roses, behalf, behoof, beneficent, benefit, benevolent, benison, bighearted, blessing, boon, bounty, charitable, child welfare, clover, comfort, commonweal, contentment, cradle-to-grave security, depletion allowance, dole, ease, easy circumstances, eleemosynary, felicity, fellowship, financial assistance, fleshpots, fortune, freehearted, gain, generous, good, gracious life, gracious living, grant, grant-in-aid, greathearted, guaranteed annual income, guaranteed income, happiness, health insurance, help, humanitarian, interest, lap of luxury, largehearted, life of ease, loaves and fishes, luck, luxury, old-age assistance, old-age insurance, pecuniary aid, pension, philanthropic, price support, profit, prosperity, prosperousness, public assistance, public welfare, relief, retirement benefits, satisfaction, scholarship, security, sickness insurance, social insurance, social security, social service, social welfare, social work, socialized medicine, state medicine, stipend, subsidization, subsidy, subvention, success, support, tax benefit, the affluent life, the good life, thriving condition, unemployment compensation, unemployment insurance, upward mobility, velvet, weal, wealth, welfare aid, welfare capitalism, welfare payments, welfare state, welfare statism, welfare statist, welfare work, welfarism, welfarist, well-being, womb-to-tomb security, world of good



wel faran "wellness" (cognate with velferð)


  • (UK) /ˈwɛlˌfɛə/, /"wEl%fE@/
  • (US) /ˈwɛlˌfɛɚ/, /"wEl%fE@`/


  1. health, happiness and prosperity; contentment
  2. aid, provided by a government, etc. to people in need, especially financial aid


health, happiness and prosperity; contentment
aid, provided by a government, etc.
Welfare may refer to:
In economics:
  • Social welfare provision, government programs which seek to provide a minimum level of income, service or other support for disadvantaged peoples
  • Welfare (financial aid), financial assistance paid by taxpayers to people who are unable to support themselves, cf. Workfare, an alternative model requiring recipients to participate in work-rehabilitation programs,
    • Corporate welfare, a pejorative describing a government's bestowal of money grants, tax breaks, or other special favorable treatment on corporations
  • Welfare state, in which the state assumes primary responsibility for the welfare of its citizens beyond a minimum level
  • Welfare economics, determines allocative efficiency and the income distribution within an economy; see also, Social welfare function
  • Social security, social welfare service concerned with social protection
welfare in German: Wohlfahrt (Begriffsklärung)
welfare in Indonesian: Kesejahteraan sosial
welfare in Japanese: 厚生
welfare in Finnish: Sosiaaliturva

See also

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