Definition of welfare in English:


See synonyms for welfare

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  • 1The health, happiness, and fortunes of a person or group.

    ‘they don't give a damn about the welfare of their families’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘All or most states already have laws to protect the health and welfare of animals.’
    • ‘It is your programme in writing for managing health, safety and welfare within your business.’
    • ‘He was found guilty of failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of his employees.’
    • ‘However, housing some birds would not be in their interest where health and welfare is concerned.’
    • ‘We need to ensure that no one has to put the health and welfare of his or her family at risk in order to keep a job.’
    • ‘We have been let down by people who should have been looking after Laura's health and welfare and we are all devastated.’
    • ‘Its bosses say they are looking to reduce sugar and fat for the health and welfare of us all.’
    • ‘He had no thought but for me, my welfare, my comfort, my safety, my happiness.’
    • ‘The confidentiality was agreed to protect the interests and welfare of the student.’
    • ‘This type of cost cutting threatens the health and welfare of local residents.’
    • ‘Their help and support over the past few months have made an immense difference to the welfare and happiness of our family.’
    • ‘Our paramount concerns are for his and other patient's welfare and safety.’
    • ‘The agency said the decision was taken to ensure the children's safety and welfare.’
    • ‘He has not been heard from since, and there are grave concerns for his safety and welfare.’
    • ‘There's an interesting conference about animal welfare going on somewhere at the moment.’
    • ‘If you are interested in animal welfare there are two young dogs urgently in need of homes.’
    • ‘Tributes are being paid to a North Yorkshire woman who was devoted to the protection and welfare of cats.’
    • ‘It's total disregard for the financial and emotional welfare of everyone involved.’
    • ‘They should not only care for the welfare of the children, but should also have financial knowledge.’
    well-being, health, good health, happiness, comfort, security, safety, protection, prosperity, profit, good, success, fortune, good fortune, advantage, interest, prosperousness, successfulness
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    1. 1.1Statutory 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Political involvement was the foundation of all social welfare and public service.’
      • ‘Social welfare, designed to fill the gap where the family can no longer provide, hardly exists.’
      • ‘In the six years since Labour came to power we have seen our public services and welfare system eroded almost into extinction.’
      • ‘Firstly immigrants and refugees are not a drain on the NHS and the social welfare services.’
      • ‘In this argument charity is private benevolence and social welfare is public.’
      • ‘I am proud of our social welfare system and the safety net it provides for those who need it.’
      • ‘On public sector privatisation and cuts in welfare benefits, Labour and the Tories are united.’
      • ‘Workers remembered the privatisations, sackings, and attacks on social security and welfare.’
      • ‘They also tend to spend more time on study and meditation and less on social affairs and community welfare programmes.’
      • ‘Statutory welfare agencies have also used the threat of criminalization to secure compliance to new social norms.’
      • ‘The youth criminal justice system is expanding into areas that child welfare services would once have intervened in.’
      • ‘In part, this reflects the fact that such groups are benefiting from welfare privatisation.’
      • ‘They want more spent on education, health and welfare and they want it now.’
      • ‘Health spending, welfare and aged care benefits are seen as the main culprits.’
    2. 1.2mainly North American Financial support given to people in need.
      ‘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.’
      • ‘Welfare benefits are being reduced and new provisions introduced to restrict access to welfare.’
      • ‘What got me back was that I was on food stamps and welfare and I had a family to support.’
      • ‘The implications for long-term funding of welfare and pensions is profound.’
      • ‘We must look behind these numbers to see if how families fare after leaving welfare.’
      • ‘First, cuts in welfare and other social programs have reduced government health insurance.’
      • ‘America, rightly or wrongly, spends a great deal on welfare.’
      • ‘Dependency on welfare was growing and approaching the peak it would reach in 1995.’
      • ‘A decade ago, some Chumash still relied on welfare and donated clothing.’
      social security, benefit, state benefit, benefit payment, public assistance
      View synonyms



/ˈwelˌfer/ /ˈwɛlˌfɛr/


    on welfare
    • Receiving government financial assistance for basic material needs.

      ‘Relatively low levels of the community are therefore on welfare and public assistance.’
      • ‘Elisa cut off financial support, prompting Emily and her children to go on welfare.’
      • ‘One was on welfare living off the dole, but I think that two of them had jobs, wives, and small children.’
      • ‘Before then, I lived with my mother, who was single and on welfare at the time.’
      • ‘Which author has sold millions of books but was actually on welfare for about a year while writing her first one?’
      • ‘It's easy to criticize people on welfare when you haven't been in their shoes.’
      • ‘Yet these kids came from poor homes, often broken homes, and many were on welfare.’
      • ‘We were on welfare and so she was gone a lot and I kind of feel like I raised Ashley.’
      • ‘Angela has been on welfare most of her adult life, and she has never been able to make ends meet.’
      • ‘When I was growing up my family was on welfare, so I have a strong sense of welfare-class consciousness.’
      • ‘People on welfare do not save money, they spend everything they get.’
      • ‘However, the financial cost to leaders of support groups is often substantial, given that many are on welfare.’
      • ‘I'm going places, while they'll stay on welfare and junk like that their whole lives.’
      • ‘Born into an Italian family living in a South Bronx ghetto, Zimbardo grew up poor and on welfare.’
      • ‘In April, single parents on welfare were hit with a $51 cut to their support allowance.’
      • ‘The social worker at the hospital put me on welfare and got together an application for disability.’


Middle English from the adverb well + the verb fare.