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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Instead of investing to boost output and increase efficiency, companies have used their tax windfall to return money to shareholders. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Tax-Cut Split: Consumers Are Spending but Businesses Curb Their Enthusiasm," 9 Nov. 2018 Most of us would’ve taken that windfall and set off on a lifetime journey of maximum chillin’, with perhaps an occasional detour into public entrepreneurial dabbling. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "In Defense of Elon Musk," 16 Oct. 2018 But the state says winners of $1 million or more have to appear at a press conference announcing their windfall, and accept their giant check. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Lottery winner vows to stay anonymous after $5 million win," 23 May 2018 In between, amid a wave of stories about companies sharing their windfalls with workers in the form of bonuses and other goodies, backing for the law crested in January at 30 percent. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Here's why the tax cuts are such a hard sell for Republicans," 20 Apr. 2018 Nonetheless, David doesn’t volunteer to share his windfalls with those whose retirement funds and life savings have been obliterated by bogus investments. Peter Keough,, "Eastern promises are broken in ‘The China Hustle’," 30 Mar. 2018 While the corporate tax cut has produced a financial windfall, many banks are now facing challenges. Cara Lombardo And Rachel Louise Ensign, WSJ, "New Jersey Lender Explores Sale as Banks Consolidate," 6 Nov. 2018 The Republican tax bill has been a major windfall for corporations and the wealthy. Emily Stewart, Vox, "How the Republican tax cuts are failing workers, in one chart," 23 July 2018 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding in May of 2018 was a ratings windfall. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Will Princess Eugenie's Wedding Be Televised?," 6 July 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

5 Dec 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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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).


living or existing for a long time

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