Why was clemency trending last week?


[wind-fawl] /ˈwɪndˌfɔl/
an unexpected gain, piece of good fortune, or the like.
something blown down by the wind, as fruit.
accruing in unexpectedly large amounts:
windfall profits.
Origin of windfall
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English; see wind1, fall Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for windfall
  • Hitting a jackpot might fulfill a lifetime dream, but financial planners warn of the pitfalls that often accompany a windfall.
  • The windfall may well change the country's politics.
  • Still unable to fly, their emergence provides a windfall for predators.
  • But things changed when the war ended and windfall profits stopped.
  • Clifford has made millions of dollars from government programs but doesn't seem to see the windfall that way.
  • We decided to use a portion of this windfall to offset the airline emissions.
  • Some of the money to pay for these schemes will come from a windfall tax on mining profits.
  • What a windfall for humanity if that lesson can be broadly delivered at the grade-school level.
  • The talk may be about a windfall tax on oil companies, but the action will be on boosting subsidies for alternative fuels.
  • It could also be a windfall for some people, businesses, and nations.
British Dictionary definitions for windfall


a piece of unexpected good fortune, esp financial gain
something blown down by the wind, esp a piece of fruit
(mainly US & Canadian) a plot of land covered with trees blown down by the wind
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for windfall

mid-15c., from wind (n.) + fall (n.1). Originally literal, in reference to wood or fruit blown down by the wind, and thus free to all. Figurative sense of "unexpected acquisition" is recorded from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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windfall in Culture

windfall definition

An unexpected profit from a business or other source. The term connotes gaining huge profits without working for them — for example, when oil companies profit from a temporary scarcity of oil.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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