-ize

cvb +brit. use a verb-forming suffix occurring orig. in loanwords from Greek that have entered English through Latin or French (baptize; barbarize; catechize); within English, -ize is added to adjectives and nouns to form transitive verbs with the general senses “to render, make” (actualize; fossilize; sterilize; Americanize), “to convert into, give a specified character or form to” (computerize; dramatize; itemize; motorize), “to subject to (as a process, sometimes named after its originator)” (hospitalize; terrorize; galvanize; oxidize; winterize). Also formed with -ize are a more heterogeneous group of verbs, usu. intransitive, denoting a change of state (crystallize), kinds or instances of behavior (apologize; tyrannize), or activities (economize; philosophize; theorize)
Also, esp. brit.,-ise I Compare -ism,-ist,-ization
Etymology: ME -isen (< OF -iser) < LL -izāre < Gk -izein usage: The suffix -ize, one of the most productive in the language, has been in common use since the late 16th century. Some of the words formed with -ize have been widely disapproved in recent years, particularly finalize (first attested in the early 1920s) and prioritize (around 1970). Such words are most often criticized when they become, as did these two, vogue terms, suddenly heard and seen everywhere, esp. in the context of advertising, commerce, education, and government—forces claimed by some to have a corrupting influence upon the language. Both finalize and prioritize are fully standard, occurring in all varieties of speech and writing, although rarely found in belletristic writing. ―The British spelling -ise is becoming less common in British English, esp. in technical or formal writing, chiefly because some influential British publishers prefer the American form.

From formal English to slang. 2014.

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.