Definition of vicissitude in English:

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Pronunciation: /vɪˈsɪsɪtjuːd/


1 (usually vicissitudes) A change of circumstances or fortune, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant: her husband’s sharp vicissitudes of fortune
More example sentences
  • However, such were the vicissitudes of English fortunes that the link with wealth was far more complex than King and Defoe appeared to recognize.
  • Governments cannot protect citizens from all the circumstances and vicissitudes of life.
  • 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;
reversal, reverse, downturn;
inconstancy, instability, uncertainty, unpredictability, chanciness, fickleness, variability, changeability, fluctuation, vacillation;
ups and downs
2 [mass noun] literary Alternation between opposite or contrasting things: the vicissitude of the seasons



Pronunciation: /vɪsɪsɪˈtjuːdɪnəs/ /vʌɪsɪsɪˈtjuːdɪnəs/
Example sentences
  • A vicissitudinous branch of American art - itself oftentimes viewed throughout its history as globally marginal and mutable, according to Wanda M. Corn's critically important essay.
  • In addition to offering our best insights into this vicissitudinous business over the past four-plus decades, we have tried to educate sports bettors to the realities and possibilities.
  • That does not imply that it is less intensely felt than other emotions, but only that it is less vicissitudinous.


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

Words that rhyme with vicissitude

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