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.

Nearby words

  1. esc.,
  2. escabeche,
  3. escadrille,
  4. escadrille américaine,
  5. escalade,
  6. escalation,
  7. escalator,
  8. escalator clause,
  9. escalatory,
  10. escallonia

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