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From Middle English windfal, wyndfall, equivalent to wind +‎ fall. Cognate with Middle High German wintval, wintfal, German Windfall.



windfall (plural windfalls)

  1. Something that has been blown down by the wind.
  2. A fruit that has fallen from a tree naturally, as from wind.
    They couldn't reach the branches, so they ate the windfalls.
  3. (figuratively) A sudden large benefit; especially, a sudden or unexpected large amount of money, as from lottery or sweepstakes winnings or an unexpected inheritance or gift.
    Synonyms: godsend, boon
    • 2004, Chris Wallace, Character: Profiles in Presidential Courage:
      Businessmen rushed to get every last commodity aboard a departing ship, hoping for a windfall once the world realized these would be the very last sacks of flour available, thus driving up prices.
    • 2023 October 19, Brendan I. Koerner, “Watch This Guy Work, and You’ll Finally Understand the TikTok Era”, in Wired[1], →ISSN:
      One of six siblings who’d been raised by a single mother, the client had earned a windfall of around $400,000 after going viral in 2021.

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