SYNONYMS | EXAMPLES | WORD ORIGIN 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
back formation from
escalator Related forms es·ca·la·tion, noun es·ca·la·to·ry , [ es-k uh-l uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈɛs kə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ adjective non·es·ca·lat·ing, adjective non·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
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for escalatory Contemporary Examples of escalatory British Dictionary definitions for escalatory verb to increase or be increased in extent, intensity, or magnitude to escalate a war; prices escalated because of inflation Derived Forms escalation, noun Word Origin for escalate
C20: back formation from
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for escalatory 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