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90s Slang You Should Know


[es-kuh-ley-ter] /ˈɛs kəˌleɪ tər/
Also called moving staircase, moving stairway. a continuously moving stairway on an endless loop for carrying passengers up or down.
a means of rising or descending, increasing or decreasing, etc., especially by stages:
the social escalator.
of, relating to, or included in an escalator clause:
The union demands escalator protection of wages.
Origin of escalator
1895-1900, Americanism; formerly a trademark; perhaps escal(ade) + (elev)ator Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for escalator
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Beardsley stepped onto the corridor slidewalk, coasted to the escalator and rode it down.

    We're Friends, Now Henry Hasse
  • With that he took the escalator to the upper hall while Philon watched him disappear.

    The House from Nowhere Arthur G. Stangland
  • He pulled Maida toward the head of an escalator a dozen feet away.

    Tarrano the Conqueror Raymond King Cummings
  • I got Maxwell onto an escalator leading to the second level before his legs buckled.

    The Telenizer Don Thompson
  • He cut to the right, running toward the escalator to the second floor.

    Monkey On His Back Charles V. De Vet
British Dictionary definitions for escalator


a moving staircase consisting of stair treads fixed to a conveyor belt, for transporting passengers between levels, esp between the floors of a building
short for escalator clause
Word Origin
C20: originally a trademark
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for escalator

1900, American English, trade name of an Otis Elevator Co. moving staircase, coined from escalade + -ator in elevator. Figurative use is from 1927.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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