Pronunciation: (wel'fâr"), [key]
1. 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.
2. See welfare work.
3. 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.
4. (cap.) Informal.a governmental agency that provides funds and aid to people in need, esp. those unable to work.
5. on welfare, receiving financial aid from the government or from a private organization because of hardship and need.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.