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windfall

[wind-fawl]
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noun
  1. an unexpected gain, piece of good fortune, or the like.
  2. something blown down by the wind, as fruit.
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adjective
  1. accruing in unexpectedly large amounts: windfall profits.
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Origin of windfall

late Middle English word dating back to 1425–75; see origin at wind1, fall
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for windfall

windfall

noun
  1. a piece of unexpected good fortune, esp financial gain
  2. something blown down by the wind, esp a piece of fruit
  3. mainly US and Canadian a plot of land covered with trees blown down by the wind
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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

Word Origin and History for windfall

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

windfall in Culture

windfall

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.

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