Definition of welfare noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈwelfeə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈwelfer//
    [uncountable] Helping others
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  1. 1the general health, happiness and safety of a person, an animal or a group synonym well-being We are concerned about the child's welfare.
  2. 2practical or financial help that is provided, often by the government, for people or animals that need it The state is still the main provider of welfare. child welfare a social welfare programme welfare provision/services/work Wordfinderappeal, benefit, charity, collection, donation, fundraiser, handout, telethon, volunteer, welfare See related entries: Helping others
  3. 3(especially North American English) (British English also social security) money that the government pays regularly to people who are poor, unemployed, sick, etc. They would rather work than live on welfare. CollocationsUnemploymentLosing your job lose your job (British English) become/​be made redundant be offered/​take voluntary redundancy/​early retirement face/​be threatened with dismissal/(British English) the sack/(British English) compulsory redundancy dismiss/​fire/ (especially British English) sack an employee/​a worker/​a manager lay off staff/​workers/​employees (Australian English, New Zealand English, South African English) retrench workers cut/​reduce/​downsize/​slash the workforce (British English) make staff/​workers/​employees redundantBeing unemployed be unemployed/​out of work/​out of a job seek/​look for work/​employment be on/​collect/​draw/​get/​receive (both British English) unemployment benefit/​jobseeker’s allowance be/​go/​live/​sign (British English, informal) on the dole claim/​draw/​get (British English, informal) the dole be on/​qualify for (North American English) unemployment (compensation) be/​go/​live/​depend (North American English) on welfare collect/​receive (North American English) welfare combat/​tackle/​cut/​reduce unemployment See related entries: Helping others
  4. Word OriginMiddle English: from the adverb well + the verb fare.Extra examples The government’s policies will promote the welfare of all citizens. The new government promised to clamp down on welfare fraud. The welfare check never went far enough. financial incentives to leave welfare lone parents living on welfare benefits people concerned about child welfare the number of families on welfare the provision of services such as health through the welfare state Animal welfare groups want this practice banned altogether. There must be adequate welfare provision for people with disabilities. They would rather work than live on welfare. We are concerned about the child’s welfare.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: welfare