verb (used with or without object), es·ca·lat·ed, es·ca·lat·ing.
Origin of escalate
Examples from the Web for escalate
Given the potential for a cyber tit-for-tat to escalate, Obama has even more incentive to find a diplomatic solution.
It does, and certainly has, helped to escalate the crisis by having this militaristic response to it.Rory Kennedy on ‘Last Days in Vietnam,’ the Parallels Between Vietnam and Iraq, and Ferguson|Marlow Stern|September 1, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Washington, in particular, has been loath to do anything that might escalate.
Since Sunday, senior U.S. officials have publicly warned Russia not to escalate the already delicate situation in the Ukraine.Putin’s Bluff? U.S. Spies Say Russia Won't Invade Ukraine|Eli Lake|February 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST
These skirmishes are expected to escalate and could eventually include rocket attacks into nearby Israeli towns.
British Dictionary definitions for escalate
Word Origin for escalate
Word Origin and History for escalate
1922, back-formation from escalator, replacing earlier verb escalade (1801), from the noun escalade. Escalate came into general use with a figurative sense of "raise" after 1959 in reference to the possibility of nuclear war. Related: Escalated; escalating.