-ize
verb suffix Etymology: Middle French -iser, from Late Latin -izare, from Greek -izein 1. a. (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.

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