es·​ca·​la·​tor | \ ˈe-skə-ˌlā-tər How to pronounce escalator (audio) , nonstandard -skyə- How to pronounce escalator (audio) \

Definition of escalator

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a power-driven set of stairs arranged like an endless belt that ascend or descend continuously
b : an upward course suggestive of an escalator a never-stopping escalator of economic progress— D. W. Brogan
2 : an escalator clause or provision



Definition of escalator (Entry 2 of 2)

: providing for a periodic proportional upward or downward adjustment (as of prices or wages) an escalator arrangement tying the base pay … to living costsN. Y. Times

Examples of escalator in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Different Campaign Trump intends to run a much different race than his 2016 campaign, when the reality TV star announced his insurgent candidacy by gliding down the golden escalator at Trump Tower in New York. Shannon Pettypiece, Fortune, "Trump Should Be a Shoo-in for 2020, But Low Approval Holds Him Back," 18 June 2019 It's been just over four years since Donald Trump came gliding down a golden escalator at Trump Tower to announce his candidacy. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "Iran warns it may breach nuke deal, Trump 2020 & a tribute to dad jokes: The Morning Rundown," 17 June 2019 Her untied shoelace got caught in the escalator at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and caused a luggage-and-traveler pileup. John Branch, New York Times, "Lindsey Horan Is Right Where She Wanted to Be," 14 June 2019 Bikes are constantly taken on escalators at Embarcadero during the morning commute. Gary Richards, The Mercury News, "BART riders and bicyclists fight for space on escalators: Roadshow," 21 June 2019 And so Tokyo can have a strict social norm against standing on the right side of the escalator while Osaka and Kyoto have norms against standing on the left—and while Manila seemingly has no norm at all. Arunas L. Radzvilavicius, Quartz, "The inescapable social media crisis is about expectations, not addiction," 16 June 2019 The dramatic footage shows people on the parallel escalator trying to pull others to safety. Paolo Santalucia, The Seattle Times, "Rome escalator accident injures 20 Russian soccer fans," 23 Oct. 2018 Commuters at Court Square appear in waves, filling its warren of long corridors and narrow staircases and escalators. Paul Berger, WSJ, "Long Island City Transit Hub Braces for a Rider Surge From the L Train Shutdown," 12 Nov. 2018 In was an airy, double-height entryway where visitors are met with a showstopping escalator designed by Rem Koolhaas. Zachary Weiss, Vogue, "Halsey Performs for an A-List Crowd at the Newly Redesigned Saks Fifth Avenue," 8 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'escalator.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of escalator


1900, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1930, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for escalator


from Escalator, a trademark

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Statistics for escalator

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for escalator

The first known use of escalator was in 1900

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English Language Learners Definition of escalator

: a moving set of stairs that carries people up or down from one level of a building to another


es·​ca·​la·​tor | \ ˈe-skə-ˌlā-tər How to pronounce escalator (audio) \

Kids Definition of escalator

: a moving stairway for going from one level (as of a building) to another

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More from Merriam-Webster on escalator

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with escalator

Spanish Central: Translation of escalator

Nglish: Translation of escalator for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of escalator for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about escalator

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