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.
Origin and Etymology of escalate
back-formation from escalator
First Known Use: 1944
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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