[ es-kuh-ley-ter ]
/ ˈɛs kəˌleɪ tər /


Also called moving staircase, moving stairway. a continuously moving stairway on an endless loop for carrying passengers up or down.
a means of rising or descending, increasing or decreasing, etc., especially by stages: the social escalator.


of, relating to, or included in an escalator clause: The union demands escalator protection of wages.

Nearby words

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

Origin of escalator

1895–1900, Americanism; formerly a trademark; perhaps escal(ade) + (elev)ator Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for escalator

British Dictionary definitions for escalator


/ (ˈɛskəˌleɪtə) /


a moving staircase consisting of stair treads fixed to a conveyor belt, for transporting passengers between levels, esp between the floors of a building

Word Origin for escalator

C20: originally a trademark

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 escalator



1900, American English, trade name of an Otis Elevator Co. moving staircase, coined from escalade + -ator in elevator. Figurative use is from 1927.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper