1. Received with pleasure and hospitality into one's company or home: a welcome guest.
2. Giving pleasure or satisfaction; agreeable or gratifying: a welcome respite from hard work.
3. Cordially or willingly permitted or invited: You are welcome to join us.
4. Used in the expression you're welcome to acknowledge an expression of gratitude.
1. A cordial greeting or hospitable reception given to an arriving person.
2. A reception upon arrival: gave the stranger an unfriendly welcome.
3. The state of being welcome: Don't overstay your welcome.
tr.v. wel·comed, wel·com·ing, wel·comes
1. To greet, receive, or entertain (another or others) cordially or hospitably.
2. To receive or accept gladly: would welcome a little privacy.
Used to greet cordially a visitor or recent arrival.
wear out (one's) welcome
To visit so often or stay so long as to become a nuisance.
[Middle English, alteration (influenced by wel, well) of Old English wilcuma, welcome guest, welcome; see gwā- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.