• synonyms


[es-kuh-leyd, -lahd, es-kuh-leyd, -lahd]
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  1. a scaling or mounting by means of ladders, especially in an assault upon a fortified place.
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verb (used with object), es·ca·lad·ed, es·ca·lad·ing.
  1. to mount, pass, or enter by means of ladders.
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Origin of escalade

1590–1600; < Middle French < Old Provençal *escalada, equivalent to escal(ar) to scale3 + -ada -ade1
Related formses·ca·lad·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for escalading

Historical Examples

  • They had a forward rake to increase by the overhang the difficulty of escalading them.

    Life in an Indian Outpost

    Gordon Casserly

  • Among the killed was Captain Haynes, shot while escalading the wall of Makonis head kraal.

    The Matabele Campaign

    R. S. S. Baden-Powell

  • It might be thought that this manner of building offered considerable facilities to an escalading enemy.

  • Three or four blows of an axe would have made a broad entrance for an escalading party.

British Dictionary definitions for escalading


  1. an assault by the use of ladders, esp on a fortification
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  1. to gain access to (a place) by the use of ladders
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Derived Formsescalader, noun

Word Origin

C16: from French, from Italian scalata, from scalare to mount, scale ³
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

Word Origin and History for escalading



1590s, "action of using ladders to scale the walls of a fortified place," from Middle French escalade (16c.) "an assault with ladders on a fortification," from Italian scalata, fem. past participle of scalare "to climb by means of a ladder," from scala "ladder," related to Latin scandere "to climb" (see scan). For initial e-, see especial.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper