Main definitions of weal in English

: weal1weal2

weal1

(also wheal)

noun

  • 1A red, swollen mark left on flesh by a blow or pressure:

    ‘she slapped his cheek and a bright red weal sprang up on it’
    • ‘There was a red line running from David's chin, across his cheek and over the corner of his eye, disappearing into his hairline, and it was swelling rapidly into a sizeable weal.’
    • ‘You could always tell where she'd been in the school, you just followed the red weals on the legs of the kids.’
    • ‘I sat in it once when they were picking tomatoes, my feet dangling, the ridge of the seat hurting my thighs, making red weals.’
    • ‘The whip came down again, this time leaving a red wheal where it had hit.’
    • ‘Lifting the edge of the blanket, she managed to turn him on his side so she could lean over and scrub the back of him and she was horrified to see dozens of long, thin, red weals from his shoulders down to his waist. ‘Oh, you poor creature!’’
    • ‘Their idea of a fun Saturday afternoon is to go paintballing and end up covered in golfball-sized red weals from being shot at close range.’
    • ‘At the first bell after dinner she was back in the gym with Kev, who noticed the red wheals on her arms even before he had started teaching her.’
    • ‘His back was covered in weals where he had been flogged.’
    • ‘The angry cross-hatch of purple weals between his nipples is matched by four on his back and, according to some reports, one on his buttocks.’
    • ‘Mr Brown said: ‘I have got big wheals on my wrists where the handcuffs were, and I fell and bashed up my legs, which are very painful.’’
    • ‘And they had these sharp little edges that could leave a hell of a weal if they caught you at the right angle.’
    welt, wound, lesion, swelling
    scar, cicatrix, mark, blemish, discoloration, pockmark
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Medicine An area of the skin which is temporarily raised, typically reddened, and usually accompanied by itching.
      • ‘The wheals can itch, and they look like mosquito bites.’
      • ‘Within minutes, the area swells into an angry red lump called a weal.’
      • ‘Four days later he developed a mild temperature, a sore throat, blisters on the palms of his hands and weals on his tongue.’
      • ‘This causes inflammation and fluid to gather under the skin, causing wheals and the blood vessels to dilate.’
      • ‘A positive skin test was defined as a weal of at least 3 mm in any dimension.’
      • ‘Urticarial wheals can be greatly inhibited with the most potent antihistamines but usually cannot be totally suppressed, which suggests that histamine is not the only mediator.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Mark with a weal:

    ‘his neck was wealed and raw’
    • ‘The veterinary officer will report to the stewards after the race every horse which is wealed.’
    • ‘After this the boy's bottom would have been wealed, but probably not much bruised.’

Origin

Early 19th century: variant of wale, influenced by obsolete wheal ‘suppurate’.

Pronunciation

weal

/wiːl/

Main definitions of weal in English

: weal1weal2

weal2

noun

formal
  • [mass noun] That which is best for someone or something:

    ‘I am holding this trial behind closed doors in the public weal’
    • ‘This President has largely excused the rich and powerful from the onerous burden of lightening their wads a tiny bit for the public weal - with a resulting plunge in Treasury receipts.’
    • ‘Positions of trust were designated to all members of this Parliament, singly and corporately, who were seen as guardians of the public weal.’
    • ‘There is no way for a democratic regime to prevent the citizens from watching and participating in exchanges of ideas, even if these are often half-baked or biassed, and not aimed at public weal.’
    • ‘Many will recognize in the Bush initiatives a potential danger to the public weal (is this yet another Republican effort to shrink government?’
    • ‘Should he show sloth in anything, he shall be liable to grave responsibility as the neglector of the state's weal.’
    • ‘We are not invited to admire or condemn, only to experience the humanity of a woman making a choice, for weal or woe.’
    • ‘His attachment to the vow of celibacy takes overriding precedence over everything else, including the public weal.’
    • ‘It is, instead, an exercise in careful selection of the finest legal minds to the better advantage of the public weal, and is undertaken in seriousness, sobriety and the fullest impartiality.’
    • ‘National identity means a willingness to build the nation, which evolves from collective recognition of the need to share weal and woe.’
    • ‘This enabled them to fashion the policies of the state in a manner that the woe and weal of the common man is addressed.’
    • ‘It provides a lesson in eliminating fiscal domination and ensuring the public weal.’
    • ‘In these respects the substances resemble the superhuman powers themselves; they are ambiguous in character, and can cause either weal or woe.’
    • ‘Rather, we should view them in the context of their times and acknowledge the efforts many of them made towards trying to improve the public weal.’
    • ‘He presupposes that personal liberation, however delightful, is not good enough for the public weal.’

Phrases

  • the common weal

    • The benefit or interests of all members of a country or community:

      ‘such things as police protection and national defence are benefits vital to the common weal’
      • ‘Judicial activism for the common weal is perhaps stronger in India than in any other country.’
      • ‘In our political and legal culture, any number of issues bearing upon the common weal get confused with issues of rights.’
      • ‘Their task is to articulate implicitly, even unconsciously, the necessity for improving the common weal.’
      • ‘Here every man, eschewing the pursuit of private interest, would devote himself to the common weal.’
      • ‘How nice it would be if we could all think of the common weal when we make use of mass media!’
      • ‘Malcolm Turnbull, heroic defender of the common weal, is Member for Wentworth.’
      • ‘To his great credit, Bentham used these critical gifts in a socially reformist spirit, to improve the common weal.’
      • ‘The problem is how to make the best use of them for the common weal.’
      • ‘The challenge facing the common weal administrators is even harder than that given by other national realities.’
      • ‘Somehow, the threat to the common weal dissolved by September 2007.’

Origin

Old English wela ‘wealth, well-being’, of West Germanic origin; related to well.

Pronunciation

weal

/wiːl/