Etymology: Middle French -iser, from Late Latin -izare, from Greek -izein
(1) cause to be or conform to or resemble <systemize> <Americanize> ; cause to be formed into <unionize> (2) subject to a (specified) action <plagiarize> (3) impregnate or treat or combine with <aluminize> b. treat like <idolize> c. treat according to the method of <bowdlerize> 2. a. become ; become like <crystallize> b. be productive in or of <hypothesize> ; engage in a (specified) activity <philosophize> c. adopt or spread the manner of activity or the teaching of <Platonize> Usage: The suffix -ize has been productive in English since the time of Thomas Nashe (1567-1601), who claimed credit for introducing it into English to remedy the surplus of monosyllabic words. Almost any noun or adjective can be made into a verb by adding -ize <hospitalize> <familiarize>; many technical terms are coined this way <oxidize> as well as verbs of ethnic derivation <Americanize> and verbs derived from proper names <bowdlerize> <mesmerize>. Nashe noted in 1591 that his -ize coinages were being criticized, and to this day new words ending in -ize <finalize> <prioritize> are sure to draw critical fire.
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.