Word of the Day for Saturday, November 20, 2010weal \WEEL\, noun :1. Well-being, prosperity, or happiness.2. A raised mark on the surface of the body produced by a blow.3. (Obsolete:) the state or body politic.Our difference of opinion amounts to this, that you make the mainspring self-interest, while I suppose that interest in the common weal is bound to exist in every man of a certain age of achievement.-- Leo Tolstoy, Anna KareninaThe Prime Minister's recent call on physicians to be more mindful about the health needs of the poor may have come from a genuine concern for the weal of the large swathes of people who fall under that head.-- Nerun Yakub, "Calling on physicians to perform better," Financial Express, October, 2010Weal shares the Old English root wela with welfare and a host of other English words. The ultimate source in Proto-Indo-European is wel- , which is also the ancestor of words related to will .Dictionary.com <[email protected]>
Margaret O’Brien Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal.