American English

Definition of welfare noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1money that the government pays regularly to people who are poor, unemployed, sick, etc. They would rather work than live on welfare. Topic CollocationsUnemploymentlosing your job lose/quit/leave your job get/be fired/ (informal) laid off/ (formal) terminated/asked to resign (for doing something) be offered/take early retirement face/be threatened with dismissal dismiss/fire an employee/a worker/a manager lay off staff/workers/employees cut/reduce/downsize the workforcebeing unemployed be unemployed/out of work/out of a job look for/seek work/employment be on/collect/draw/get/receive unemployment (benefits) claim/draw/get/be on/qualify for unemployment (compensation) be/go/live/depend on welfare collect/receive/apply for/qualify for welfare combat/tackle/cut/reduce unemployment
  2. 2practical or financial help that is provided, often by the government, for people or animals that need it child welfare a social welfare program welfare provision/services/work
  3. 3the general health, happiness, and safety of a person, an animal, or a group synonym well-being We are concerned about the child's welfare.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: welfare