escalate

play
verb es·ca·late \ˈe-skə-ˌlāt, ÷-skyə-\

Definition of escalate

escalated

;

escalating

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to increase in extent, volume, number, amount, intensity, or scope a little war threatens to escalate into a huge ugly one — Arnold Abrams

  3. transitive verb
  4. :  expand 2

escalation

play \ˌe-skə-ˈlā-shən, ÷-skyə-\ noun

escalatory

play \ˈe-skə-lə-ˌtȯr-ē, ÷-skyə-\ adjective

Examples of escalate in a Sentence

  1. The conflict has escalated into an all-out war.

  2. a time of escalating tensions

  3. We are trying not to escalate the violence.

  4. Salaries of leading executives have continued to escalate.

  5. The cold weather has escalated fuel prices.

Recent Examples of escalate from the Web

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


ESCALATE Defined for English Language Learners

escalate

play
verb

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



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