Definition of vicissitude in English:

vicissitude

noun

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

    ‘her husband's sharp vicissitudes of fortune’
    • ‘This contrast underscores the insulation which the Indian economy had enjoyed from the vicissitudes of world capitalism.’
    • ‘Prevailing orthodoxy is that children are psychically frail creatures who require constant protection to cope with life's vicissitudes.’
    • ‘However, such were the vicissitudes of English fortunes that the link with wealth was far more complex than King and Defoe appeared to recognize.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘Governments cannot protect citizens from all the circumstances and vicissitudes of life.’
    • ‘He took refuge in booze and the beginnings of drug availability, and was headed, if not for catastrophe, at least for significant vicissitudes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is possible there may have been several vicissitudes of changes wrought upon the same part of the Earth.’
    • ‘In any event, Malley began playing open stages, where crowds enthusiastically applauded her take on the vicissitudes of love.’
    • ‘He is as sharp a chronicler of the vicissitudes of love as he ever was.’
    • ‘If that isn't an antidote to the vicissitudes of life, then what is?’
    • ‘These are the vicissitudes of all life forms, including humans.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Once again we see how the fortunes of modern European science intertwined with the vicissitudes of colonial expansion.’
    • ‘Perhaps nothing can demonstrate the city's vicissitudes better than the changes of its landmarks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This was partly because, prior to these decades of vicissitudes, the early modern traditions were well established.’
    change, alteration, alternation, transformation, metamorphosis, transmutation, mutation, modification, transition, development, shift, switch, turn
    View synonyms
  • 2literary mass noun 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

/vɪˈsɪsɪtjuːd//vʌɪˈsɪsɪtjuːd/