What does welfare mean?

Definitions for welfare

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word welfare.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. social welfare, welfare, public assistancenoun

    governmental provision of economic assistance to persons in need

    "she lives on welfare"

  2. benefit, welfarenoun

    something that aids or promotes well-being

    "for the benefit of all"

  3. wellbeing, well-being, welfare, upbeat, eudaemonia, eudaimonianoun

    a contented state of being happy and healthy and prosperous

    "the town was finally on the upbeat after our recent troubles"


  1. welfarenoun

    health, happiness and prosperity; well-being in any respect

  2. welfarenoun

    (chiefly U.S.) various forms of financial aid provided by the government to those who are in need of it (abbreviated form of Welfare assistance), social security, income support,

  3. Etymology: wel faran "wellness" (cognate with Old Norse velferð, Swedish välfärd and Dutch welvaart.) Equivalent to.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Welfarenoun

    Happiness; success; prosperity.

    Etymology: well and fare.

    If friends to a government forbear their assistance, they put it in the power of a few desperate men to ruin the welfare of those who are superiour to them in strength and interest. Add.

    Discretion is the perfection of reason: cunning is a kind of instinct that only looks out after our immediate interest and welfare. Joseph Addison, Spectator.


  1. Welfare

    Welfare, or commonly social welfare, is a type of government support intended to ensure that members of a society can meet basic human needs such as food and shelter. Social security may either be synonymous with welfare, or refer specifically to social insurance programs which provide support only to those who have previously contributed (e.g. most pension systems), as opposed to social assistance programs which provide support on the basis of need alone (e.g. most disability benefits). The International Labour Organization defines social security as covering support for those in old age, support for the maintenance of children, medical treatment, parental and sick leave, unemployment and disability benefits, and support for sufferers of occupational injury.More broadly, welfare may also encompass efforts to provide a basic level of well-being through free or subsidized social services such as healthcare, education, infrastructure, vocational training, and public housing. In a welfare state, the state assumes responsibility for the health, education, infrastructure and welfare of society, providing a range of social services such as those described.Some historians view systems of codified almsgiving, like the zakat policy of the seventh century (634 CE) Rashidun caliph Umar, as early examples of universal government welfare. The first welfare state was Imperial Germany (1871–1918), where the Bismarck government introduced social security in 1889. In the early 20th century, the United Kingdom introduced social security around 1913, and adopted the welfare state with the National Insurance Act 1946, during the Attlee government (1945–51). In the countries of western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, social welfare is mainly provided by the government out of the national tax revenues, and to a lesser extent by non-government organizations (NGOs), and charities (social and religious). A right to social security and an adequate standard of living is asserted in Articles 22 and 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


  1. welfare

    Welfare refers to the well-being of individuals or groups, including their health, happiness, and comfort. It is often considered in terms of physical, mental, and social health. It can also refer to a government program that provides financial or other assistance to individuals or families in need, such as food stamps, housing assistance, or healthcare. In economics, welfare is a concept that entails the good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, and well-being of a person, group, or the entire society.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Welfarenoun

    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

  2. Etymology: [Well + fare to go, to proceed, to happen.]


  1. Welfare

    Welfare is the provision of a minimal level of well-being and social support for all citizens, sometimes referred to as public aid. In most developed countries welfare is largely provided by the government, and to a lesser extent, charities, informal social groups, religious groups, and inter-governmental organizations. The welfare state expands on this concept to include services such as universal healthcare and unemployment insurance.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Welfare

    wel′fār, n. state of faring or doing well: freedom from any calamity, &c.: enjoyment of health, &c.: prosperity.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Welfare is ranked #85357 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Welfare surname appeared 219 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Welfare.

    51.1% or 112 total occurrences were White.
    45.6% or 100 total occurrences were Black.
    2.2% or 5 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'welfare' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2110

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'welfare' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4177

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'welfare' in Nouns Frequency: #951

How to pronounce welfare?

How to say welfare in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of welfare in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of welfare in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of welfare in a Sentence

  1. Steven Camarota:

    Most people think either you work, or you are on welfare – but that’s just wrong, a mom with two kids working full-time earning $12 an hour is still eligible for most welfare programs.

  2. Sophocles:

    I have nothing but contempt for the kind of governor who is afraid, for whatever reason, to follow the course that he knows is best for the State and as for the man who sets private friendship above the public welfare - I have no use for him either.

  3. Ana Montes:

    Too many people who could work if they wanted to are on welfare, the banks are filled with people lining up to cash their welfare checks. You can't advance that way.

  4. Gordon Lightfoot:

    A child is born to a welfare case/ Where the rats run around like they own the place/ The room is chilly, the building is old/ That's how it goes/ A doctor's found on his welfare rounds/ And he comes and he leaves on the double

  5. Steven Camarota:

    [Collecting welfare] shouldn’t be seen as a moral failing on the part of immigrants, but reflective of what happens when you let lots of people who have modest levels of education in a modern society, either you select immigrants who aren’t going to need programs or accept that they’re going to take up a lot of welfare. You can’t try and solve it once they’re here.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for welfare

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"welfare." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/welfare>.

Discuss these welfare definitions with the community:

  • Julie Anne Cipriano
    Julie Anne Cipriano
    i still don't know what wellfare means
    LikeReply7 years ago
  • Julie Anne Cipriano
    Julie Anne Cipriano
    what does wellfare mean i don't have any idea what it means
    LikeReply7 years ago
  • Julie Anne Cipriano
    Julie Anne Cipriano
    wellfare i have no idea what this word means. it's to hard of a word for me to comprehend
    LikeReply7 years ago

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prevent from being seen or discovered
  • A. condemn
  • B. jeopardize
  • C. conceal
  • D. embark

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