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.

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decorum

Origin of escalate

First recorded in 1920–25; back formation from escalator

pronunciation note for escalate

OTHER WORDS FROM escalate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for escalation

British Dictionary definitions for escalation

escalate
/ (ˈɛskəˌleɪt) /

verb

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

Derived forms of escalate

escalation, 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

Cultural definitions for escalation

escalation

An increase in the intensity or geographical scope of a war or diplomatic confrontation. For example, during the Korean War, some Americans urged escalation of the war through bombing of the People's Republic of China.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.