Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


the satisfactory state that someone or something should be in, that involves such things as being happy, healthy, and safe, and having enough money

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

The noun wellbeing is formed from the adverb well and the noun being and is based directly on an Italian word, ‘benessere’. It was first used in English as long ago as the 16th century. It is often written with a hyphen.


This week is the second annual World WellBeing Week, an opportunity to promote awareness of all the different aspects of wellbeing. In this strangest of times, the organizers are asking people to ‘share their tips around activities, hobbies or pastimes that have helped with their mental wellbeing during lockdown’.  My social media timelines have been full of pictures of the results of forays into home baking, especially sourdough loaves; people’s unusually well-tended gardens; books read; runs undertaken; and natural delights seen on local walks. Of course not everyone has found lockdown an opportunity to develop new hobbies or explore their local area, and as the definition above suggests, wellbeing relies on such basics as health, safety and having enough to live on. Even with all those things in place, however, unaccustomed social isolation has been a challenge for many and what may seem like small, even trivial, changes can bring big improvements in mental and physical wellbeing.


This happiness consisted of nothing else but the harmony of the few things around me with my own existence, a feeling of contentment and well-being that needed no changes and no intensification.
(Hermann Hesse)

“In a democracy, the well-being, individuality and happiness of every citizen is important for the overall prosperity, peace and happiness of the nation.”
(A. P. J. Abdul Kalam)

Related words

bloom, bounce, fitness, health

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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