|1.||health, happiness, prosperity, and well-being in general|
|2.||a. financial and other assistance given to people in need|
|b. (as modifier): welfare services|
|3.||Also called: welfare work plans or work to better the social or economic conditions of various underprivileged groups|
|4.||informal chiefly (Brit) the welfare the public agencies involved with giving such assistance|
|5.||chiefly (US), (Canadian) on welfare in receipt of financial aid from a government agency or other source|
|[C14: from the phrase wel fare; related to Old Norse velferth, German Wohlfahrt; see |
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.