Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- A system whereby the state either through general or specific taxation provides various benefits to help ensure the wellbeing of its citizens.
- Those benefits paid under such a system.
- (US) A specific such social benefit providing income in retirement or disability.
- James A. H. Murray [et al.], editor (1884–1928) A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Oxford English Dictionary), London: Clarendon Press, OCLC 15566697; and The Oxford English Dictionary; being a Corrected Re-issue with an Introduction, Supplement, and Bibliography of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (the First Supplement), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1933, OCLC 2748467.