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

Britons have thus enjoyed unexpected windfalls big enough to splash out on holidays or cars. The Economist, "PPI was a bonanza—for banks, and then for consumers," 29 Aug. 2019 Scott concluded from their discussion that Congress should use Treasury’s supposed tariff revenue windfall to come up with a plan to cut taxes elsewhere. Catherine Rampell, The Denver Post, "Rampell: Trump’s tendency to double down on bad ideas doesn’t bode well for the economy," 25 Aug. 2019 With the Greene King deal, much of the rest of the windfall has now also found a home. Geoffrey Smith, Fortune, "Why One of Asia’s Richest Men Is Buying a British Pub Business Right Before Brexit," 24 Aug. 2019 Some believed that traditional polluters would see windfall profits. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "Hedge funds are making millions off Europe's killer heat waves," 20 Aug. 2019 Worries about the world economy and the shaky stock market have given homebuyers a windfall. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Drop in mortgage rates is a boon for homebuyers and refinancing," 16 Aug. 2019 Felsher is not the only one reaping the benefits of the windfall. Travis Andersen,, "Arlington statistician wins $1 million lottery prize — for the second time," 25 July 2019 The idea was to save a slice of the current oil windfall in a special fund for future generations when the oil ran out. Paola Banchero, The Conversation, "In divided Alaska, the choice is between paying for government or giving residents bigger oil wealth check," 15 July 2019 Money from Volkswagen’s emissions-cheating settlement has delivered a windfall to US states to clean up the mess. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Many US states are spending their VW settlement funds on more diesel engines," 11 July 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

Statistics for windfall

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for windfall

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for windfall



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

More from Merriam-Webster on windfall

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with windfall

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for windfall

Spanish Central: Translation of windfall

Nglish: Translation of windfall for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of windfall for Arabic Speakers

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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!