[ es-kuh-leyt ]
See synonyms for: escalateescalatedescalatingescalation on

verb (used with or without object),es·ca·lat·ed, es·ca·lat·ing.
  1. to increase in intensity, magnitude, etc.: to escalate a war; a time when prices escalate.

  2. to raise, lower, rise, or descend on or as if on an escalator.

Origin of escalate

First recorded in 1920–25; back formation from escalator

pronunciation note For escalate

See percolate.

Other words for escalate

Opposites for escalate

Other words from escalate

  • es·ca·la·tion, noun
  • es·ca·la·to·ry [es-kuh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee], /ˈɛs kə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjective
  • non·es·ca·lat·ing, adjective
  • non·es·ca·la·to·ry, adjective
  • re·es·ca·late, verb, re·es·ca·lat·ed, re·es·ca·lat·ing.
  • re·es·ca·la·tion, noun

Words Nearby escalate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use escalate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for escalate


/ (ˈɛskəˌleɪt) /

  1. to increase or be increased in extent, intensity, or magnitude: to escalate a war; prices escalated because of inflation

Origin of escalate

C20: back formation from escalator

Derived forms of escalate

  • escalation, noun

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