1. (a word of kindly greeting, as to one whose arrival gives pleasure): Welcome, stranger!


  1. a kindly greeting or reception, as to one whose arrival gives pleasure: to give someone a warm welcome.

verb (used with object), wel·comed, wel·com·ing.

  1. to greet the arrival of (a person, guests, etc.) with pleasure or kindly courtesy.
  2. to receive or accept with pleasure; regard as pleasant or good: to welcome a change.
  3. to meet, accept, or receive (an action, challenge, person, etc.) in a specified, especially unfriendly, manner: They welcomed him with hisses and catcalls.


  1. gladly received, as one whose arrival gives pleasure: a welcome visitor.
  2. agreeable, as something arriving, occurring, or experienced: a welcome rest.
  3. given full right by the cordial consent of others: She is welcome to try it.
  4. without obligation for the courtesy or favor received (used as a conventional response to expressions of thanks): You’re quite welcome.


  1. wear out one’s welcome, to make one’s visits so frequent or of such long duration that they become offensive: Your cousins have long since worn out their welcome.


  1. (of persons) not welcome
  2. causing dissatisfaction or displeasure


  1. gladly and cordially received or admitteda welcome guest
  2. bringing pleasure or gratitudea welcome gift
  3. freely permitted or invitedyou are welcome to call
  4. under no obligation (only in such phrases as you’re welcome or he’s welcome, as conventional responses to thanks)

sentence substitute

  1. an expression of cordial greeting, esp to a person whose arrival is desired or pleasing


  1. the act of greeting or receiving a person or thing; receptionthe new theory had a cool welcome
  2. wear out one’s welcome to come more often or stay longer than is acceptable or pleasing

verb (tr)

  1. to greet the arrival of (visitors, guests, etc) cordially or gladly
  2. to receive or accept, esp gladly

adj.early 14c., from un- (1) “not” + welcome (adj.). Cf. Middle Dutch onwillecome, German unwillkommen. v.Old English wilcumian, from wilcuma (see welcome (n.)). Related: Welcomed; welcoming. n.Old English wilcuma, exclamation of kindly greeting, from earlier wilcuma (n.) “welcome guest,” literally “one whose coming is in accord with another’s will,” from willa “pleasure, desire, choice” (see will (v.)) + cuma “guest,” related to cuman (see come). Cf. Old High German willicomo, Middle Dutch wellecome. Meaning “entertainment or public reception as a greeting” is recorded from 1530. You’re welcome as a formulaic response to thank you is attested from 1907. Welcome mat first recorded 1951; welcome wagon is attested from 1961. see warm welcome; wear out one’s welcome; you’re welcome.

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