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wel·fare  (wlfâr)
a. Health, happiness, and good fortune; well-being.
b. Prosperity.
2. Welfare work.
a. Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to people in need.
b. Corporate welfare.
on welfare
Receiving regular assistance from the government or private agencies because of need.

[Middle English, from wel faren, to fare well, from Old English wel faran : wel, well; see well2 + faran, to get along; see fare.]

welfare  /wlfr/  n. 1 ones general condition, (syn.) well-being: The mother is concerned about her sons welfare. 2 money from the government for food, housing, health services, etc.: He lost his job and is now on welfare. -n. [U] welfarism.

Usage Note: Welfare is an American governmental system that includes services such as unemployment compensation, food stamps, and housing assistance to the poor. welfare

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