Entries linking to accessorize
also accessary, early 15c., "that which is subordinate to something else," also as a legal term, "one aiding in a felony without committing the offense" (as by advising, inciting, concealing), from Late Latin accessorius, from Latin accessor, agent noun of accedere "to approach" (see accede).
Strictly the noun (a person) should be accessary, the adj. (and noun, a thing) accessory; but the distinction is too fine to be maintained. [Century Dictionary]
Especially in the visual arts, "object introduced to balance composition or enhance artistic effect" (1540s). Attested from 1896 as "woman's smaller articles of dress;" hence accessorize. Related: Accessorial.
word-forming element used to make verbs, Middle English -isen, from Old French -iser/-izer, from Late Latin -izare, from Greek -izein, a verb-forming element denoting the doing of the noun or adjective to which it is attached.
The variation of -ize and -ise began in Old French and Middle English, perhaps aided by a few words (such as surprise, see below) where the ending is French or Latin, not Greek. With the classical revival, English partially reverted to the correct Greek -z- spelling from late 16c. But the 1694 edition of the authoritative French Academy dictionary standardized the spellings as -s-, which influenced English.
In Britain, despite the opposition to it (at least formerly) of OED, Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Times of London, and Fowler, -ise remains dominant. Fowler thinks this is to avoid the difficulty of remembering the short list of common words not from Greek which must be spelled with an -s- (such as advertise, devise, surprise). American English has always favored -ize. The spelling variation involves about 200 English verbs.
updated on October 06, 2016
Dictionary entries near accessorize