welfare state

noun

Definition of welfare state 

1 : a social system based on the assumption by a political state of primary responsibility for the individual and social welfare of its citizens

2 : a nation or state characterized by the operation of the welfare state system

Examples of welfare state in a Sentence

supporters of the welfare state

Recent Examples on the Web

Already, Slovenian businesses have expressed fear that support from The Left party, which advocated welfare state in Slovenia, will force the government to raise taxes to meet its demands. Jovana Gec, Fox News, "Slovenia lawmakers to approve moderate government," 13 Sep. 2018 The fiscal constraints of an IMF program would also undercut the promises made by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s new government, which include millions of new jobs and the establishment of a welfare state. Saeed Shah, WSJ, "Pakistan Requests IMF Bailout Talks," 8 Oct. 2018 The welfare state, properly understood by Friedrich Hayek and others, is an effort to continue in modern conditions the immemorial practice of taking care of those who are poor, disabled, or in distress. Christopher Demuth Sr., National Review, "Repairing Our Fractured Politics," 11 Jan. 2018 Many European countries — and not just those with right-wing governments — have introduced measures like budget deficit limits and welfare state cutbacks. Manès Weisskircher, Washington Post, "Is Austria's new government breaking sharply to the right? Not more than the rest of Europe.," 3 Jan. 2018 In 2015, more than 200,000 Afghans reached Western Europe; 80 percent applied for asylum and received temporary shelter in affluent welfare states, especially Germany. Pamela Constable, Washington Post, "Europe is rejecting thousands of Afghan asylum seekers a year. But what awaits them back home?," 28 May 2018 Mr Macron promised to unveil an anti-poverty programme in September, as part of a redesign of France’s welfare state for the 21st century. The Economist, "Emmanuel Macron’s popularity hits a new low," 12 July 2018 In contrast, the large welfare states of Europe depend on large, regressive, relatively efficient revenue programs, dominated by the VAT’s flat consumption tax. Christopher Demuth Sr., National Review, "Repairing Our Fractured Politics," 11 Jan. 2018 The welfare state in the U.S. has always been more privatized than in European countries. Sarah Jaffe, New Republic, "How the Media Is Abetting the GOP’s War on “Welfare”," 31 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'welfare state.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of welfare state

1894, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about welfare state

Share welfare state

Statistics for welfare state

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for welfare state

The first known use of welfare state was in 1894

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for welfare state

welfare state

noun

English Language Learners Definition of welfare state

: a social system in which a government is responsible for the economic and social welfare of its citizens and has policies to provide free health care, money for people without jobs, etc.; also : a country that has such a system

More from Merriam-Webster on welfare state

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with welfare state

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about welfare state

Comments on welfare state

What made you want to look up welfare state? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a typical or ideal example

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!