escalate

[ es-kuh-leyt ]
/ ˈɛs kəˌleɪt /

verb (used with or without object), es·ca·lat·ed, es·ca·lat·ing.

to increase in intensity, magnitude, etc.: to escalate a war; a time when prices escalate.
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
Related forms

Pronunciation note

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for escalate

British Dictionary definitions for escalate

escalate

/ (ˈɛskəˌleɪt) /

verb

to increase or be increased in extent, intensity, or magnitudeto escalate a war; prices escalated because of inflation
Derived Formsescalation, noun

Word Origin for escalate

C20: back formation from escalator
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 escalate

escalate


v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper