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
Republicans complained bitterly about the Obama administration’s lack of responsiveness at times, and the battles over transparency escalated as the GOP gained power in Congress.
Violence in April escalated to its highest level in more than three years, according to ACLED, a non-profit focused on armed conflict and data collection.
That didn’t stop Saudi and U.A.E. media outlets from launching a verbal war against Qatar, and their attacks escalated after Sheikh Tamim’s phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani over the weekend in apparent defiance of Saudi criticism. ‘
Members of the news media were prohibited from leaving the courtroom for the next several minutes until the situation de-escalated.
Alongside severe food shortages, a rapidly escalating Cholera outbreak has killed more than 400 people this month.
After Francis visited Egypt last month, IS vowed to escalate attacks against Christians and urged Muslims to steer clear of Christian gatherings and Western embassies.
After a visit to Egypt last month by Pope Francis, the Islamic State vowed to escalate attacks against Christians and urged Muslims to steer clear of Christian gatherings and Western embassies.
Just last weekend, the violence around Hubbard Park escalated.
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: 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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