Per Lexico, universalize means:

Give a universal character or application to (something, especially something abstract)
theories that universalize experience’

Can this definition include the sense "to create a universe" within a context? Per Wiktionary, universal also means:

Of or pertaining to the universe.

In many other credible dictionaries, universalize refers to a more succinct definition: "to generalize, to make available universally". For example:

to make universal : Generalize - Merriam-Webster

When I did a Google search for dictionary "to create a universe", no word with this meaning came up. What would be a suitable word/verb for 'to create a universe'?

Possible example sentence:

And he created a universe, gazed on the vastness and magnificence around him, and said 'I _______' (created a universe).

  • 6
    Your other dictionaries and Lexico definitions are similar. Creating a universe is not. Commented Jul 11, 2022 at 23:36
  • 1
    universalize is to make universal, not to create a universe.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 12, 2022 at 13:50
  • 1
    I've included further research for the OP and tried my best to make it nice and shiny; and worthy of re-opening. Since it was tagged with single-word-requests, I've added details related to this tag also. I believe it is a very good and useful question, and it has good answers. I believe it deserves recognition. Thank you.
    – ermanen
    Commented Jul 12, 2022 at 22:28
  • In what semantic meaning you wish it to exist? If we talk about creation of real world, the act is Genesis, but no verb aside of "create" can be used. So God can be referred to as a Creator. If it's a creation of some fictional setting, you can use world-building or worldbuilding as a noun or gerund. No special verb anyway. "To world-build" may exist only because "everything is a verb" principle.
    – Swift
    Commented Jul 15, 2022 at 16:07
  • 1
    Thanks @ermanen for clarifying my question neatly
    – ARGMAN
    Commented Jul 22, 2022 at 18:05

3 Answers 3


Universalize doesn't have the sense 'to create a universe' as the productive suffix -ize (-ise) modifies the word universal, not universe.

The correct formation would be universize (universe + -ize) for the meaning 'to create a universe'; however, it is not defined in any dictionaries and it is not a concept that necessitates a single word. Although, you can use it as a nonce word for your needs.

OED says the sense "Of or relating to the universe in general or to all things in it" for universal is poetic or rhetorical, and now rare. And surprisingly, OED also lists an obsolete sense of universal meaning 'The universe'.

There is the word cosmogony with the meaning of 'the creation of the universe (cosmos)' but it is generally used in extended senses like the study of the origin of the universe or the theories/models involved within that context. As its etymology suggests:

From Ancient Greek κοσμογονία (kosmogonía), from κόσμος (kósmos, “world”) + γόνος (gónos, “creation”). - Wiktionary

I surmised that cosmogonize could mean 'to create a universe' but it has another meaning related to the extended senses (and the right formation could be 'cosmosize' for the meaning 'to create a universe'):

cosmogonize: To theorize a cosmogony - Wiktionary

Although, you could possibly use cosmogonize in the sense 'to create a universe', perhaps within the right context in a fictional story or figuratively. I could also find instances of cosmosize in Google Books.

Additionally, OED lists cosmize as a rare word, formed as cosmism n. + -ize suffix. It has a slightly different meaning and it is used figuratively in the only citation provided:

transitive. To make into a cosmos.

It's the duty of man to try..to cosmise his own particular little corner of it.
1884    G. Allen Philistia III. 28

  • 1
    @StuartF Universify or cosmify could mean more like "to make or become cosmic, universe-like".
    – ermanen
    Commented Jul 12, 2022 at 9:37

I don't beleive so. The suffix -ize/-ise (acorrding to https://www.thoughtco.com/common-suffixes-in-english-1692725 and a few other sources) means to become, and the definition of the word universal is "of, affecting, or done by all people or things in the world or in a particular group; applicable to all cases." (-Oxford Dictionary) in the case of adjectives. And for nouns the definition is "a person or thing having universal effect, currency, or application." (-Oxford Dictionary). Putting two and two together the definition of "Univeralizing" would be "to become or make something or someone universally applicable or effective" or something along those lines. So gramatically it would not make sense, no. Hope this answered your question!

  • A "universal character or application", as your given definition reads, means that character or application is recognized or applied all over the world (in this sense 'universal' is synonymous to 'mondial').
    – Joachim
    Commented Jul 12, 2022 at 9:34

As others have said, "universalize" means to make something more general or more broadly applicable. It doesn't have anything to do with creating a universe.

If you're looking for a word for "creating a universe" in the literary sense (for example, an author trying create a "universe" for a book they are writing), a commonly used term is "worldbuilding": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worldbuilding.

However, I don't believe there's a single word that fits your example sentence. Probably the best single word for that sentence ("I ____") is simply "I create".

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