From Middle English welfare, probably from the Old English phrase wel faran (“to fare well, get along successfully, prosper”) (cognate with Middle Low German wolvare (“welfare”), Old Norse velferð, Swedish välfärd and Dutch welvaart.) Equivalent to well + fare.
- (uncountable) Health, safety, happiness and prosperity; well-being in any respect.
- (uncountable, chiefly US) Various forms of financial aid provided by the government to those who are in need of it (abbreviated form of Welfare assistance).
- welfare in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- welfare in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- welfare at OneLook Dictionary Search
See also 
welfare m (invariable)