[ 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
es·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, adjective
re·es·ca·late, verb, re·es·ca·lat·ed, re·es·ca·lat·ing.re·es·ca·la·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for escalatory
The escalatory ladder is far more terrifying than it was on the eve of the millennium.
Yet if he retaliates with more economic sanctions or some military move, Pyongyang might start climbing the escalatory ladder.War Looms for Obama in Iran, Syria, and North Korea|Leslie H. Gelb|April 12, 2012|DAILY BEAST
British Dictionary definitions for escalatory
/ (ˈɛskəˌleɪt) /
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