Entries linking to christianize
1520s as a noun, "a believer in and follower of Christ;" 1550s as an adjective, "professing the Christian religion, received into the Christian church," 16c. forms replacing Middle English Cristen (adjective and noun), from Old English cristen, from a West Germanic borrowing of Church Latin christianus, from Ecclesiastical Greek christianos, from Christos (see Christ). First used in Antioch, according to Acts xi.25-26:
And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
Meaning "having the manner and spiritual character proper to a follower of Christ" is from 1590s (continuing a sense in the Middle English word). Christian name, that given at christening, is from 1540s (also continuing a sense from Middle English Cristen). Christian Science as the name of a religious sect is from 1863.
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.