cactus genus, 1730, from Latin cereus "waxen, waxy," from cera "wax" (see cero-). So called from its shape, which suggests a wax candle.
early 15c., "action of certifying," from French certificat, from Medieval Latin certificatum "thing certified," noun use of neuter past participle of certificare "to make certain" (see certify). Of documents of certification, testifying to the truth of the facts stated, from mid-15c.; especially a signed document attesting to someone's authorization to practice or do stated things (1540s).
"fond of criticizing," 1530s, from Latin censorius "pertaining to a censor," also "rigid, severe," from censor (see censor (n.)). Related: Censoriously; censoriousness.
1795, "to bring to a center, draw to a central point;" 1800, "come to a center," from central + -ize, on model of French centraliser (1790). A word from the French Revolution, generally applied to the transferring of local administration to the central government. Related: Centralized; centralizing.
Government should have a central point throughout its whole periphery. The state of the monthly expences amounted to four hundred millions; but within these seven months, it is reduced to one hundred and eighty millions. Such is the effect of the centralization of government; and the more we centralize it, the more we shall find our expenses decrease. [Louis Antoine de Saint-Just, "Discourse on the State of the Finances," 1793]