WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
ˈwel•fare ˌstate, n. [countable]
  • Governmenta state or nation in which the welfare of the people in such matters as health, education, housing, and employment is the responsibility of the government.

  • WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
    welfare state′, 
  • Governmenta state in which the welfare of the people in such matters as social security, health and education, housing, and working conditions is the responsibility of the government.
    • 1940–45

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
    welfare state n
    1. a system in which the government undertakes the chief responsibility for providing for the social and economic security of its population, usually through unemployment insurance, old-age pensions, and other social-security measures
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