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 Crude oil’s historic bust has led to a string of losses and bankruptcies for those pumping oil and a windfall for those storing it by prompting a rare case of super-contango. Jinjoo Lee, WSJ, "Their Ship Came in as Oil Prices Crashed," 12 May 2020 Goldman owned about 10 million shares of Uber at the time of the IPO, turning a $5 million wager using the firm’s own money back in 2011 into a major windfall. Molly Schuetz,, "Goldman Says It Sold Out of Uber Stake After IPO Lockup Expired," 12 May 2020 Hillsboro began limiting data centers’ tax windfall in 2016 but construction has continued anyway. Mike Rogoway | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Another huge Hillsboro data center will start construction this summer," 7 May 2020 Under normal circumstances, an unexpected windfall might be cause to take a vacation, splurge on the latest electronic gadget or unwind at a spa. Patrick Danner,, "Stimulus checks covering necessities, bills, repairs," 17 Apr. 2020 Bernie Sanders, the front-runner, wants to cancel all student debt—a handout that would indeed provide relief to those who are struggling, but would also offer an enormous windfall to the well-off. The Economist, "How the next president should fix America’s student-loan problem," 20 Feb. 2020 The potholes have caused untold accidents, hours of traffic and windfalls for tire dealers. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "All Roads Lead to Rome, Where Potholes Will Destroy Your Tires," 25 Mar. 2018 The windfall of pleas began on March 24, when the FDA gave the greenlight to expand convalescent plasma treatments for investigational purposes. Tom Hanson, CBS News, "Desperate families turn to social media in search of convalescent plasma," 18 Apr. 2020 In Baghdad, the government called for militias to mobilize against ISIS, another windfall for the Quds Force, as most fighters organized by sect. Karl Vick, Time, "Why the U.S. Assassination of Iranian Quds Force Leader Qasem Soleimani Has the U.S. Bracing for Retaliation," 3 Jan. 2020

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

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Windfall.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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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

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