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Definition of Vicisitudes

They are an alternative of prosperous and adverse events. Vicisitude (Vicissitude in English) is the change in the course of events. It is also used to designate the order, either successive or alternative, of something.

SYNONYMS FOR Vicisitudes

  1. Event
  2. Change
  3. Incident
  4. Successive
  5. Alternative

ORIGIN OF Vicisitudes

The word vicissitudes in its singular vicissitud, comes from the Latin term vicissitūdo, vicissitudĭnis which means alternation, change, alternative, alternate succession of a circumstance, fact or time.

This is a word that Cicero used a lot. The plural vicissitudes expresses the condition of a situation that becomes changeable, whether such change is expected or on the contrary constitutes a surprise.

This word is also used to designate the changes of fortune that are experienced throughout life, whether from health to illness, from prosperity to poverty, from anonymity to fame, and many other situations.

In the same way it is also used to express less dramatic changes, but that imply a turn of daily events: a move, a new job, a new debt or other moments.

Although many also use this expression to define the so-called “twists of fate” which are situations foreseen or not, but that break with the established routine.


It should be noted that this word is used more in plural than in its singular vicissitud.

As another curious fact, it is worth mentioning that the Venezuelan comedian George Harris always talks about “vicisitudes” in his stand up comedy, which he performs weekly in the city of Miami, United States, and which are recorded and rebroadcast on the Youtube platform.