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

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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
Recent Examples on the Web FirstEnergy agreed in February to give up what could have been a $120 million windfall in 2021, and Ohio put on hold its ongoing lawsuit relating to the state’s nuclear bailout law. J.d. Davidson, Washington Examiner, "DeWine signs partial repeal of Ohio’s controversial nuclear power bailout," 2 Apr. 2021 And last September the Consumer Federation of America said auto insurers were reporting windfall profits even after providing rebates., "Should Massachusetts require auto insurers to refund premiums with people driving less during the pandemic?," 1 Apr. 2021 Another benefit for Oregon State athletics from this NCAA Tournament is the financial windfall because of the Pac-12′s success. oregonlive, "Oregon State AD Scott Barnes enjoying basketball’s NCAA ride through interacting with fan base, learning how to capitalize on momentum," 24 Mar. 2021 The result will be an unprecedented windfall for these companies and their shareholders. Dan Eberhart, Forbes, "The Shale Party Is Just Getting Started," 20 Mar. 2021 Advancing to last year’s second round would have been a windfall. Dallas News, "If a major move at the NBA trade deadline is unlikely, where does that leave the Dallas Mavericks?," 19 Mar. 2021 Some combination of power generators, energy traders and natural-gas providers banked an estimated $50 billion in windfall profits while prices were high, but the exact winners in the huge transfer of wealth remain unknown. Russell Gold, WSJ, "Texas Lt. Governor Calls for Reversal of $16 Billion Blackout Overcharges," 8 Mar. 2021 While people who sold at the peak most likely made windfall profits, those who bought at the peak suffered deep losses as GameStop’s share price collapsed. New York Times, "In GameStop Saga, Robinhood Is Cast as the Villain," 18 Feb. 2021 To make matters worse, the windfall that gets folks to consume more now comes directly, dollar for dollar, from the funds available for the private investments that enhance productivity and seed future growth. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Will $1,400 checks stimulate the economy? No, and here’s why not, say three prominent economists," 23 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for windfall

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for windfall

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Windfall.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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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 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

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