The definition of "windfall" as a unforseen gain actually came about as a combination of definitions. The gain mentioned actually *did* come from the fallen fruit extension. For a goodly time, it was of course stealing to take apples or other fruit from orchards belonging to anyone else, and this crime would be prosecuted. However, under an unspoken rule, any fruit that *fell* from the tree naturally, and was on the ground, was free for the taking. So whenever wind (unpredictably) knocked down crops, anyone could take the profit for themselves.


A legacy, or any accidental accession of property.

The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

Wind"fall` (?), n.


Anything blown down or off by the wind, as fruit from a tree, or the tree itself, or a portion of a forest prostrated by a violent wind, etc.

"They became a windfall upon the sudden."



An unexpected legacy, or other gain.

He had a mighty windfall out of doubt. B. Jonson.

<-- windfall profits. profits obtained due to a chance ot unanticipated event that causes an asset to increase unexpectedly in value. In contrast to profits earned as the normal and expected yield of an enterprise. -->


© Webster 1913.

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