Origin of landfall

First recorded in 1620–30; land + fall Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for landfall

Contemporary Examples of landfall

  • After whacking North Carolina, Hurricane Irene made its second landfall in New Jersey Sunday morning.

Historical Examples of landfall

British Dictionary definitions for landfall


  1. the act of sighting or nearing land, esp from the sea
  2. 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

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