[ vi-sis-i-tood, -tyood ]
/ vɪˈsɪs ɪˌtud, -ˌtyud /
See synonyms for: vicissitude / vicissitudes on


a change or variation occurring in the course of something.
interchange or alternation, as of states or things.
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.
regular change or succession of one state or thing to another.
change; mutation; mutability.



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Origin of vicissitude

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

OTHER WORDS FROM vicissitude

vi·cis·si·tu·di·nous, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for vicissitude

  • Marriage, the earthly way, is vicissitudinous, for everybody knows that anything is liable to happen to a man at large.

    Humorous Ghost Stories|Dorothy Scarborough
  • Mr. Lumley revived Nino (Nabucco) towards the close of his memorable and vicissitudinous management.

    Verdi: Man and Musician|Frederick James Crowest

British Dictionary definitions for vicissitude

/ (vɪˈsɪsɪˌtjuːd) /


variation or mutability in nature or life, esp successive alternation from one condition or thing to another
a variation in circumstance, fortune, character, etc

Derived forms of vicissitude

vicissitudinary or vicissitudinous, adjective

Word Origin for vicissitude

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