WORD ORIGIN | IDIOMS noun the good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, etc., of a person, group, or organization; well-being: to look after a child's welfare; the physical or moral welfare of society. financial or other assistance to an individual or family from a city, state, or national government: Thousands of jobless people in this city would starve if it weren't for welfare. ( initial capital letter) . Informal a governmental agency that provides funds and aid to people in need, especially those unable to work. Idioms on welfare, receiving financial aid from the government or from a private organization because of hardship and need. Origin of welfare 1275–1325; Middle English,
fare Related forms an·ti·wel·fare, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for on welfare noun health, happiness, prosperity, and well-being in general financial and other assistance given to people in need ( as modifier) welfare services Also called: welfare work plans or work to better the social or economic conditions of various underprivileged groups the welfare informal, mainly British the public agencies involved with giving such assistance on welfare mainly US and Canadian in receipt of financial aid from a government agency or other source Word Origin for welfare
C14: from the phrase
wel fare; related to Old Norse velferth, German Wohlfahrt; see well 1, fare
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for on welfare n.
wel faran "condition of being or doing well," from wel (see well (adv.)) + faran "get along" (see fare (v.)). Cf. Old Norse velferð. Meaning "social concern for the well-being of children, the unemployed, etc." is first attested 1904. Welfare state is recorded from 1941.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Government-provided support for those unable to support themselves. In the United States, it is undertaken by various federal, state, and local agencies under the auspices of different programs, the best known of which are Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and food stamps.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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Idioms and Phrases with on welfare
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
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