verb suffix

Definition of -ize

  1. 1a (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. 2a :  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>

Adding -ize to a Noun or Adjective

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.

Origin and Etymology of -ize

Medieval French -iser, from Late Latin -izare, from Greek -izein

-IZE Defined for English Language Learners


verb suffix

Definition of -ize for English Language Learners

  • : to cause to become or become like something specified : to become or become like (something specified)

  • : to treat like something specified

  • : to talk or write about someone or something in a specified way

Seen and Heard

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the forefront of an action or movement

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