wind·fall | \ˈwin(d)-ˌfȯl \

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

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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

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Cordeiro said the Americans also spoke to members about how a World Cup hosted by the North Americans would lead to a cash windfall for everyone. Tariq Panja And Andrew Das, New York Times, "World Cup 2026: United States, Canada and Mexico Win Bid to Be Host," 14 June 2018 The taxes and California’s recovering economy have since produced historic tax windfalls. John Myers,, "With one final signature, Gov. Jerry Brown closes the chapter on his quest to reshape California's budget," 1 July 2018 Lawmakers and Governor Brown are using that windfall to fill the rainy day fund to the maximum allowed under the state constitution and boost other savings, producing $16 billion in total reserves. Jonathan J. Cooper, The Christian Science Monitor, "California sees $9 billion surplus, passes budget to help poor," 15 June 2018 One big reason for the windfall is the tax cuts passed by Congress last year, which in some cases more than halved what the insurers owe the government. Zachary Tracer,, "Health Insurers Had Their Best Quarter in Years, Despite the Flu," 3 May 2018 For Guyana, the visa processing portends an even bigger windfall, likely tens of millions of dollars more yearly. Doreen Hemlock, miamiherald, "Cubans are flocking to Guyana for economic reasons — but there's a twist," 28 June 2018 Those dollars are the result of multibillion-dollar tax revenue windfalls, which have become surprisingly common in recent years. John Myers,, "California lawmakers meet deadline, sending nearly $200-billion state budget blueprint to Gov. Jerry Brown," 15 June 2018 The Greek Crowdfund windfall became the seed for the foundation’s Desmos for Youth program. Yannis Palaiologos, The Christian Science Monitor, "Online matchmaker pairs donors with charities in Greece," 15 June 2018 Officials don’t anticipate any major windfalls, nor any significant cuts to city programs or services. Deborah Sullivan Brennan,, "San Marcos set to vote on $77 million budget," 10 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of windfall

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for windfall

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for windfall

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

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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 \

Kids Definition of windfall

1 : something (as fruit from a tree) blown down by the wind

2 : an unexpected gift or gain

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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).


one that holds something together

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