- noun the welfare of the society as a whole. It can be seen either as a general theoretical principle which applies to all members of society taken together as a group or, alternatively, it can be seen as the total of all satisfied preferences of individual members of the society.
- (written as Social Welfare)The overall well-being of a society. It is generally assumed by economists to depend upon the welfares (i.e. the satisfied preferences) of the individuals who make up that society but how they are linked or added up is a matter for much controversy.