Definition of vicissitude in US English:

vicissitude

noun

usually vicissitudes
  • 1A change of circumstances or fortune, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant.

    ‘her husband's sharp vicissitudes of fortune’
    • ‘Mick seems typical of those noble people, the ethnic Irish in Britain, who retain a love of Ireland and face life's vicissitudes with a smile.’
    • ‘He took refuge in booze and the beginnings of drug availability, and was headed, if not for catastrophe, at least for significant vicissitudes.’
    • ‘No matter what fate threw his way - war, the vicissitudes of commerce, the long arm of illness - Jim lived every day as if it were his last.’
    • ‘However, such were the vicissitudes of English fortunes that the link with wealth was far more complex than King and Defoe appeared to recognize.’
    • ‘Once again we see how the fortunes of modern European science intertwined with the vicissitudes of colonial expansion.’
    • ‘This was partly because, prior to these decades of vicissitudes, the early modern traditions were well established.’
    • ‘It is possible there may have been several vicissitudes of changes wrought upon the same part of the Earth.’
    • ‘He is as sharp a chronicler of the vicissitudes of love as he ever was.’
    • ‘This contrast underscores the insulation which the Indian economy had enjoyed from the vicissitudes of world capitalism.’
    • ‘If they speak to women readers of their personal vicissitudes in a way that is helpful, if they offer incantations for women to use in time of trouble, so much the better.’
    • ‘In any event, Malley began playing open stages, where crowds enthusiastically applauded her take on the vicissitudes of love.’
    • ‘If that isn't an antidote to the vicissitudes of life, then what is?’
    • ‘Their crass intrusion into these areas as the face of public authority claiming to protect women from the vicissitudes of interpersonal strife is destined to end in disaster.’
    • ‘Prevailing orthodoxy is that children are psychically frail creatures who require constant protection to cope with life's vicissitudes.’
    • ‘If there's a common thread running through Payne's films it is a strong sardonic sense of humour through which characters embrace life's vicissitudes.’
    • ‘Governments cannot protect citizens from all the circumstances and vicissitudes of life.’
    • ‘These are the vicissitudes of all life forms, including humans.’
    • ‘Yet the singer grew up watching what those did to her divorced parents, and has since seen her brother grappling with the vicissitudes of celebrity and fleeting chart success.’
    • ‘The concern for security was also a major point when I moved in three years ago (more on its vicissitudes later).’
    • ‘Perhaps nothing can demonstrate the city's vicissitudes better than the changes of its landmarks.’
    change, alteration, alternation, transformation, metamorphosis, transmutation, mutation, modification, transition, development, shift, switch, turn
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1literary Alternation between opposite or contrasting things.
      ‘the vicissitude of the seasons’

Origin

Early 17th century (in the sense ‘alternation’): from French, or from Latin vicissitudo, from vicissim ‘by turns’, from vic- ‘turn, change’.

Pronunciation

vicissitude

/vəˈsɪsəˌt(j)ud//vəˈsisəˌt(y)o͞od/