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

Orwell thought of the poor as decent people, but he’d be baffled to observe today that the welfare state has created a class of layabouts who, liberated from economic anguish, shackle themselves to screens, drugs, alcohol. Kyle Smith, National Review, "What Would Orwell Think of Us?," 11 June 2019 Mid-century American political culture was dominated by New Deal thinking, which prized everything that Rand despised: the welfare state, empathy, interdependence. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "The Persistent Ghost of Ayn Rand, the Forebear of Zombie Neoliberalism," 6 June 2019 The two groups make up over 30% of the population, putting a strain on Israel’s welfare state. The Economist, "Israel at 70," 17 May 2018 Sweden—an affluent and politically stable nation, known for its consensual politics and generous welfare state—is now entering uncharted territory. Dominic Chopping, WSJ, "Swedish Parliament Votes to Oust Prime Minister Stefan Löfven," 25 Sep. 2018 For generations, Christian democratic parties, notably in Germany and Italy, have blended support for free-market economics and moderately conservative social policies with left-leaning stances on issues like labor rights and the welfare state. New York Times, "Secure in Hungary, Orban Readies for Battle with Brussels," 11 May 2018 Absent a robust and respondent welfare state, protests have become a routine — and occasionally effective — means of social negotiation between citizens, workers and public officials. Chantal Berman, Washington Post, "Why do Tunisians keep protesting?," 19 Jan. 2018 What emerged was a blueprint for the modern welfare state. The Economist, "The welfare state needs updating," 12 July 2018 The rich aren’t rich enough to fund the modern welfare state’s ambitions, and their labor and wealth are too mobile to pin down in high-tax jurisdictions. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "All the Taxes in France," 7 Dec. 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.

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First Known Use of welfare state

1894, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

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The first known use of welfare state was in 1894

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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

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