Definition of escalate
: to increase in extent, volume, number, amount, intensity, or scope a little war threatens to escalate into a huge ugly one — Arnold Abrams
: expand 2
escalationplay \ˌe-skə-ˈlā-shən, ÷-skyə-\ noun
escalatoryplay \ˈe-skə-lə-ˌtȯr-ē, ÷-skyə-\ adjective
Examples of escalate in a Sentence
The conflict has escalated into an all-out war.
a time of escalating tensions
We are trying not to escalate the violence.
Salaries of leading executives have continued to escalate.
The cold weather has escalated fuel prices.
Recent Examples of escalate from the Web
The misconduct escalated to assaulting random joggers, which eventually lead the police to aggressively arresting two of the young boys, Kevin and Raymond.
The confrontation quickly escalated into a fistfight involving other customers and two bar employees, Greek police spokesman Theodore Chronopoulos told The Washington Post.
Tension between the Ark Encounter and local government has escalated.
The president took out his frustration on China Wednesday, suggesting in a tweet that the U.S. might not want to work with Beijing anymore to curb escalating tensions with North Korea on its nuke program.
The dispute escalated into an all-out ethnic conflict—
Monk was also worried about Eddie's escalating substance abuse:
Authorities said a man in his mid-30s died and another male was injured Monday after an argument escalated into a shooting near a gas station on First Avenue North in Birmingham.
Catcher Drew Butera stepped in front of Tumpane, trying to de-escalate the situation.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'escalate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of escalate
back-formation from escalator
First Known Use: 1944See Words from the same year
ESCALATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of escalate for English Language Learners
: to become worse or to make (something) worse or more severe
: to become greater or higher or to make (something) greater or higher
Seen and Heard
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