"obtain a monopoly of, have an exclusive right of trading," also "obtain the whole of, get exclusive possession of," 1610s; see monopoly + -ize. Figurative use from 1620s. Related: Monopolized; monopolizing; monopolization.
1530s, "exclusive control of a commodity or trade," from Latin monopolium, from Greek monopōlion "right of exclusive sale," from monos "single, alone" (from PIE root *men- (4) "small, isolated") + pōlein "to sell," from PIE root *pel- (4) "to sell."
Alternative form monopole (1540s, from the Old French form of the word) was common in 16c. Meaning "possession of anything to the exclusion of others" is by 1640s; sense of "a company or corporation which enjoys a monopoly" is by 1871. The popular board game, developed in its final version by Charles Darrow (1889-1967) and marketed by Parker Brothers, is from 1935, the year it was a craze. Monopoly money "unreal currency" is attested by 1959, in reference to the paper used in the game.
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.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit panate "barters, purchases;" Lithuanian pelnas "gain;" Greek pōlein "to sell;" Old Church Slavonic splenu, Russian polon "prey, booty;" Old Norse falr, Dutch veil, German feil "for sale, venal."