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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce windfall (audio)

Dictionary definition of windfall

An unexpected, sudden, and often large financial gain or benefit that comes without any effort or planning on the part of the recipient.
"The unexpected inheritance was a windfall for the struggling family."

Detailed meaning of windfall

A windfall is Windfalls can come from a variety of sources, including inheritance, lottery winnings, stock market gains, legal settlements, or unexpected bonuses or promotions at work. The sudden influx of money can be a welcome surprise, but it can also bring unexpected challenges, such as tax liabilities or pressure to manage the funds responsibly. Some people use windfalls to pay off debt, make major purchases, or invest in long-term financial planning. Others may choose to splurge on luxuries or take a break from work to enjoy the windfall. Windfalls can be both a blessing and a curse, and their impact depends largely on how they are managed and used.

Example sentences containing windfall

1. She received a windfall inheritance that changed her life overnight.
2. Winning the lottery was an incredible windfall for the lucky ticket holder.
3. The unexpected promotion came as a windfall in his career.
4. Their investment in the startup resulted in a substantial windfall.
5. The unexpected bonus was a financial windfall for the employees.
6. Discovering buried treasure was a historic windfall for the archaeologists.

History and etymology of windfall

The noun 'windfall' has an etymology rooted in its literal sense. The word is a combination of two Old English words: 'wind' and 'feallan.' 'Wind' referred to what is blown by the wind, such as fruit or branches from trees, while 'feallan' meant 'to fall.' So, a 'windfall' originally meant something that falls or is blown down by the wind. Over time, this term evolved to describe an unexpected, sudden, and often large financial gain or benefit that comes without any effort or planning on the part of the recipient, much like fruit dropping from a tree without any human intervention. The word 'windfall' thus maintains its connection to the idea of an unexpected and unearned benefit, with its etymology tracing back to the Old English roots that convey the notion of things falling or being blown down by the wind.

Quiz: Find the meaning of windfall

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Further usage examples of windfall

1. The stock market surge led to a windfall for many investors.
2. The company's acquisition of a rival brought them a windfall of new customers.
3. A sudden inheritance can be a financial windfall for some families.
4. The unexpected sale of his artwork was a windfall for the struggling artist.
5. She considered the unexpected refund check a pleasant windfall.
6. Receiving a scholarship was a windfall that eased the burden of tuition.
7. The unexpected insurance settlement was a windfall for the accident victim.
8. The unexpected grant from the foundation was a windfall for the charity.
9. Their property's increased value was a windfall when they sold it.
10. The unexpected endorsement deal was a windfall for the aspiring athlete.
11. An unexpected promotion can bring a windfall of new responsibilities.
12. A sudden spike in website traffic can be a windfall for online businesses.
13. The unexpected book deal was a literary windfall for the author.
14. An unexpected tax refund can feel like a small financial windfall for individuals.
15. The company's unexpected success resulted in a windfall for its investors.
16. The lottery winner's windfall allowed her to retire early and travel the world.
17. The legal settlement provided a windfall for the plaintiffs and their attorneys.
18. The stock market windfall allowed the investor to pay off her mortgage early.
19. The bonus payout was a welcome windfall for the employees.
20. The sudden windfall of cash created a dilemma for the young entrepreneur.
21. The artist's sudden success was a windfall for her career and financial stability.
22. The nonprofit organization received a windfall of donations after a viral social media campaign.
23. The farmer's windfall harvest allowed him to expand his business and invest in new equipment.
24. The government's windfall tax revenues provided an opportunity to invest in public infrastructure.
25. The real estate windfall allowed the homeowner to purchase a dream home in a new location.



boon, misfortune, setback, loss


Abundance and Excess, Utility and Advancement, Wealth and Desire

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