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[land-fawl] /ˈlændˌfɔl/
an approach to or sighting of land:
The ship will make its landfall at noon tomorrow.
the land sighted or reached.
a landslide.
Origin of landfall
1620-30; land + fall Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for landfall
  • Alaskans are awaiting the landfall of a storm that may end larger than any on record in the area.
  • Dispersing the oil is considered one of the best ways to protect birds and keep the slick from making landfall.
  • As you might imagine, communication is important as the hurricane is approaching and making landfall.
  • In those areas where oil has already made landfall, cleanup workers continue to slog away.
  • Putting reporters out at the beach waiting for landfall is another.
  • On making landfall the sailors began to fight each other over food.
  • These stronger storms can increase damage to human structures when they make landfall.
  • Not far from landfall, a hurricane slammed into the expedition.
  • Coastal residents were preparing for a possible landfall by the end of the week.
  • The storm may even strengthen to become a minimal hurricane by the time it makes landfall.
British Dictionary definitions for landfall


the act of sighting or nearing land, esp from the sea
the land sighted or neared
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 landfall

"sighting of land," 1620s, also "the first land 'made' on a sea voyage;" from land (v.1) + fall (v.) in the sense of "happen." From the days of imprecise nautical navigation.

Land-fall. The first land discovered after a sea voyage. Thus a good land fall implies the land expected or desired; a bad landfall the reverse. [John Hamilton Moore, "The New Practical Navigator," London, 1814]
Of hurricanes, by 1932.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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