• (British, America) IPA: [vɨˈsɪs.ɨˌt(j)u(ː)d], [vaɪˈsɪs.ɨˌt(j)u(ː)d]

vicissitude (plural vicissitudes)

  1. Regular change or succession from one thing to another, or one part of a cycle to the next; alternation; mutual succession; interchange.
    Synonyms: ups and downs
  2. (often, in the plural) A change, especially in one's life or fortunes.
    • Seneca
      Happy is the man who can endure the highest and lowest fortune. He who has endured such vicissitudes with equanimity has deprived misfortune of its power.
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, vii, 351,
      And God made.. the Stars, and set them in the firmament of Heaven to illuminate the Earth, and rule the day in their vicissitude...
    • 2003, "US redeployments afoot in Asia", Christian Science Monitor, Nov. 18, Pg. 6.,
      The vicissitudes of war in Iraq cast a dreary backdrop for Donald Rumsfeld's first visit to Asian military allies since he became US Defense Secretary in 2001.
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