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 aluminizeb :  treat like idolizec :  treat according to the method of bowdlerize

  2. 2a :  become :  become like crystallizeb :  be productive in or of hypothesize :  engage in a (specified) activity philosophizec :  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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a brief usually trivial fact

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