a suffix of verbs having the following senses:

1. intransitively, of following some line of action, practice, policy, etc., as in Atticise, apologise, economise, theorise, tyrannise, or of becoming (as indicated), as crystallise and oxidise (intr.), and
2. transitively, of acting towards or upon, treating, or affecting in a particular way, as in baptise, colonise, or of making or rendering (as indicated), as in civilise, legalise.
Compare -ism, -ist. Also, -ize. {from (often directly) Greek -izein. Compare French -iser, German -isieren, etc.}
Usage: -ize is the usual spelling in American English. In Britain there is some variety: some publishers standardise on -ize, but others use -ise. Attempts to distinguish -ize in words based on Greek (idolize, monopolize) from -ise in words that have come to English from or through French (realise, moralise) founder on the difficulties of knowing the precise history of many words. Current Australian usage clearly favours consistent use of -ise, a practice which has the advantage of being easy to remember.
a noun suffix indicating quality, condition, or function, as in merchandise, franchise.

Australian English dictionary. 2014.

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