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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. [1913 Webster] God made two great lights . . . To illuminate the earth and rule the day In their vicissitude, and rule the night. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. Irregular change; revolution; mutation. [1913 Webster] 3. (pl.) Changing conditions of fortune in one's life; life's ups and downs. [PJC] This man had, after many vicissitudes of fortune, sunk at last into abject and hopeless poverty. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]