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vicissitude

[vi-sis-i-tood, -tyood] /vɪˈsɪs ɪˌtud, -ˌtyud/
noun
1.
a change or variation occurring in the course of something.
2.
interchange or alternation, as of states or things.
3.
vicissitudes, successive, alternating, or changing phases or conditions, as of life or fortune; ups and downs:
They remained friends through the vicissitudes of 40 years.
4.
regular change or succession of one state or thing to another.
5.
change; mutation; mutability.
Origin of vicissitude
1560-1570
1560-70; < Latin vicissitūdō, equivalent to viciss(im) in turn (perhaps by syncope < *vice-cessim; vice in the place of (see vice3) + cessim giving way, adv. derivative of cēdere to go, proceed) + -i- -i- -tūdō -tude
Related forms
vicissitudinous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for vicissitude
Historical Examples
  • It rises above all vicissitude, and enjoys sweet converse with the unchangeable and eternal Source of all real good.

    The Lord's Coming C. H. (Charles Henry) Mackintosh
  • Every grief hath that opportunity of cure; every joy that peril of vicissitude.

    St. Cuthbert's Robert E. Knowles
  • Such was the man to whom, after a short eventful period of peril and vicissitude, it was the lot of Flora Macdonald to be united.

  • The Sun shone on it: the vicissitude of seasons and human fortunes.

    Past and Present Thomas Carlyle
  • But it is not good to look too long upon these turning wheels of vicissitude, lest we become giddy.

    Essays Francis Bacon
  • What dark treasure-houses of vicissitude and woe are our memories become!

    Zanoni Edward Bulwer Lytton
  • Time and vicissitude had effaced the wounds, and the Light of the Beautiful dawned once more in the face of Evelyn.

    Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • When a child, I was abandoned to every vicissitude—and I am lost.

    A Plea for the Criminal James Leslie Allan Kayll
  • But, on the whole, death and vicissitude had done very little.

  • So great a vicissitude in his life could not at once be received as real.

    The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne
British Dictionary definitions for vicissitude

vicissitude

/vɪˈsɪsɪˌtjuːd/
noun
1.
variation or mutability in nature or life, esp successive alternation from one condition or thing to another
2.
a variation in circumstance, fortune, character, etc
Derived Forms
vicissitudinary, vicissitudinous, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin vicissitūdō, from vicis change, alternation
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
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Word Origin and History for vicissitude
n.

1560s, from Middle French vicissitude (14c.), from Latin vicissitudinem (nominative vicissitudo) "change," from vicissim "changeably, in turn," from vicis "a turn, change" (see vicarious). Related: Vicissitudes.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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