wind·​fall | \ ˈwin(d)-ˌfȯl How to pronounce windfall (audio) \

Definition of windfall

1 : something (such as a tree or fruit) blown down by the wind
2 : an unexpected, unearned, or sudden gain or advantage

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of windfall in a Sentence

They received a windfall because of the tax cuts. hitting the lottery jackpot was an incredible windfall for the recently laid-off worker
Recent Examples on the Web What’s become a windfall for both city and business, however, may soon be stopped by the Texas Comptroller’s office. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "North Texas cities warn of millions in sales tax revenue losses over proposed online shopping rule," 4 Feb. 2020 In experiments, recipients of a cash windfall, such as a raffle prize, will often take less to keep their winnings under wraps. The Economist, "In much of Africa the family is bank, business and welfare state," 12 Dec. 2019 Meanwhile, Europe’s flagship Earth-observation programme, Copernicus, received a surprise windfall: €400 million more than the agency had asked for. Elizabeth Gibney, Scientific American, "European Space Windfall Will Fast-Track Science Missions," 2 Dec. 2019 David Levin Senior vp licensing, BMI BMI’s digital revenue winning streak continued in its 2019 fiscal year with a $262 million windfall, representing 22% year-over-year growth. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Billboard's 2019 Digital Power Players Revealed," 18 Nov. 2019 The windfall, estimated at between $7.5 billion and $12 billion a year, would be split between cities, counties and special districts, which would get about 60%, and schools and community colleges, which would receive the rest. Alexei Koseff,, "Proposition 13 overhaul backed by leading 2020 Democrats," 14 Nov. 2019 Labor costs have been subdued for a decade, the drop in corporate tax rates produced a profit windfall, and super-low interest rates kept borrowing costs in check. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "The S&P 500 May Be Due For a 25% Correction, According to Historical Data," 13 Nov. 2019 The lottery has been run relatively well – despite a few negative audits – and the recipients of its windfall, Great Outdoors Colorado, has left an indelible mark of beauty and recreation on this state. The Denver Post Editorial Board, The Denver Post, "Endorsement: Yes on Prop. DD to let sports gambling fund our water needs," 31 Oct. 2019 For Klobuchar, the debate provided an especially welcome windfall, as donations totaling more than $1.1 million came in 24 hours. Los Angeles Times, "Think Warren’s too liberal? Biden’s old news? Midwesterners Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar want to talk to you," 21 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'windfall.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of windfall

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about windfall

Time Traveler for windfall

Time Traveler

The first known use of windfall was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for windfall

Last Updated

27 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Windfall.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for windfall


How to pronounce windfall (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of windfall

: an unexpected amount of money that you get as a gift, prize, etc.


wind·​fall | \ ˈwind-ˌfȯl How to pronounce windfall (audio) \

Kids Definition of windfall

1 : something (as fruit from a tree) blown down by the wind
2 : an unexpected gift or gain

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on windfall

What made you want to look up windfall? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

March 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • field of crocuses
  • Which is a synonym of rectitudinous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!