From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Vicissitude \Vi*cis"si*tude\, n. [L. vicissitudo, fr. vicis
   change, turn: cf. F. vicissitude. See Vicarious.]
   [1913 Webster]
   1. Regular change or succession from one thing to another;
      alternation; mutual succession; interchange.
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            God made two great lights . . .
            To illuminate the earth and rule the day
            In their vicissitude, and rule the night. --Milton.
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   2. Irregular change; revolution; mutation.
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   3. (pl.) Changing conditions of fortune in one's life; life's
      ups and downs.

            This man had, after many vicissitudes of fortune,
            sunk at last into abject and hopeless poverty.
      [1913 Webster]
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