Entries linking to sexualize
1650s, "distinctive of either sex, of or pertaining to the fact of being male or female," from Late Latin sexualis "relating to sex," from Latin sexus "a sex, state of being either male or female, gender" (see sex (n.)).
The meaning "pertaining to copulation or generation" is from 1766, on the notion of "done by means of the two sexes;" hence also "pertaining to erotic appetites and their gratification" and "peculiar to or affecting the organs of sex, venereal" (1799). The phrase sexual intercourse is attested by 1771 (see intercourse), sexual orientation by 1967, sexual harassment by 1975. Sexual revolution is attested by 1962. Sexual politics is from 1970. Related: Sexually.
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 July 12, 2022