escalate

[es-kuh-leyt]
See more synonyms for escalate on Thesaurus.com
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
Related formses·ca·la·tion, nounes·ca·la·to·ry [es-kuh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈɛs kə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectivenon·es·ca·lat·ing, adjectivenon·es·ca·la·to·ry, adjectivere·es·ca·late, verb, re·es·ca·lat·ed, re·es·ca·lat·ing.re·es·ca·la·tion, noun

Synonyms for escalate

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com

Antonyms for escalate

Pronunciation note

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for escalation

acceleration, increase, rise, growth

Examples from the Web for escalation

Contemporary Examples of escalation

Historical Examples of escalation


British Dictionary definitions for escalation

escalate

verb
  1. 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 escalation
n.

derived noun from escalate; in the figurative sense it is from 1938, in reference to the battleship arms race among global military powers.

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

escalation in Culture

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.