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[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
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  • The windfall and cull apples may be divided into two grades.

    Every Step in Canning Grace Viall Gray
  • The man who gets a windfall spends his days watching the wind.

  • How happy he was in thinking what a windfall it was for his friend, and how far it would go in fitting him up respectably!

    Friarswood Post-Office Charlotte M. Yonge
  • It's like a windfall, like a godsend, like an unexpected piece of luck.

    Youth Joseph Conrad
  • Then came the soft and balmy night, glorious in the radiance of a full spring moon when she refused to leave the windfall.

    Kazan James Oliver Curwood
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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