American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A change or variation.
- n. The quality of being changeable; mutability.
- n. One of the sudden or unexpected changes or shifts often encountered in one's life, activities, or surroundings. Often used in the plural. See Synonyms at difficulty.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Regular change or succession of one thing to another; alternation.
- n. A passing from one state or condition to another; irregular change; revolution; mutation: as, the vicissitudes of fortune.
- n. Regular change or succession from one thing to another, or one part of a cycle to the next; alternation; mutual succession; interchange.
- n. often plural a change, especially in one's life or fortunes.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Regular change or succession from one thing to another; alternation; mutual succession; interchange.
- n. Irregular change; revolution; mutation.
- n. Changing conditions of fortune in one's life; life's ups and downs.
- n. mutability in life or nature (especially successive alternation from one condition to another)
- n. a variation in circumstances or fortune at different times in your life or in the development of something
- From Latin vicissitudo ("change"), from vicissim ("on the other hand, in turn"), from vicis ("change, vicissitude"), whence Spanish vez and French fois ("time (as in next time), occurrence"). (Wiktionary)
- Latin vicissitūdō, from vicissim, in turn, probably from vicēs, pl. of *vix, change; see weik-2 in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The fact, of course, is that it is just the variety of experience which makes life interesting, -- toil and rest, pain and relief, hope and satisfaction, danger and security, -- and if we once remove the idea of vicissitude from life, it all becomes an indolent and uninspiring affair.”
“And here we see, by a kind of vicissitude and return, it kindles hell itself for the calumniator.”
“Surprised By Joy, composed some time after her death, is the most touching of elegies, the movement of the verse mirroring the movement of the body, heart and mind, the simplicity of diction shockingly enriched by the Latinate "vicissitude".”
“Never, in the days of vicissitude that came later, did Taiwun doubt my claim of Korean birth.”
“All of us to a greater or lesser degree have a streak of psychopathy which makes every vicissitude of human experience – including our own – potential writing fodder.”
“All of us to a greater or lesser degree have a streak of psychopathy which makes every vicissitude of human experience – including our own – potential writing fodder ….”
“In a letter to his son written in 1537, he looked back on a life of vicissitude; "a thousand dangers and hazards, enmities, hatreds, prisonments, despites and indignations".”
“It is given that travail and vicissitude mark time to man's footsteps as he stumbles onward toward the grave; and it is well.”
“I followed her like a duckling, learning how to glide smoothly upon the waters of writerly vicissitude.”
“Then in a resonant, pedantic tone, reminiscent of the age, the art restorer snarls: Damn fools — perception rests on guarded obliqueness — destitute meandering of sight — guttural vicissitude kept well hidden behind the eye allows us to envision cold tomorrows without the trumpeting of the glib future — Bob interrupts her: Who are you?”
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