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 costsNew York Times

Examples of escalator in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Those measures include hourly cleaning and disinfection of common areas, including doors, bathrooms, tables and seating areas, stairwells, escalators and elevators. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "For the first time since March, nearly half of The Corners of Brookfield's stores and restaurants are open," 15 May 2020 Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes has described the pork supply chain as an escalator that can’t be turned off. Christa Case Bryant, The Christian Science Monitor, "Inside a hotspot: Voices from the floor of a meat-packing plant," 5 May 2020 Stores will be filled with signs reminding customers to stand six feet apart, plexiglass barriers will be installed at cash registers and hand sanitizer stations will be placed by elevators and escalators. New York Times, "Macy’s Plans to Reopen All of Its 775 Stores in 6 to 8 Weeks," 30 Apr. 2020 CNBC Thyssenkrupp lift Despite market volatility, Germany’s Thyssenkrupp has managed to raise €17.2 billion ($19.4 billion) through the sale of its elevators-and-escalators business to private equity firms Advent International and Cinven. David Meyer, Fortune, "Feedback Friday: Jack Welch, automation and Fortune’s paywall," 6 Mar. 2020 Trains, cars and buses will be cleaned daily as well as handrails, ticket machines, elevators and escalators, Foye said. Morgan Winsor, ABC News, "Coronavirus live updates: Washington state reports 9th death," 3 Mar. 2020 The footage showed Jaiden Samir Cowart playing with his siblings on the escalator right before apparently losing his grip on the handrail and falling, WSOC reported. Fox News, "North Carolina boy's deadly airport escalator fall seen on video," 9 Dec. 2019 Two people involved in the fight got on an escalator, and police followed. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Two ticketed in Thanksgiving night fight at Mayfair mall after police use stun gun on man," 29 Nov. 2019 The obvious entry is the cavernous Grand Hall off the entry plaza, brightened by a domed skylight and a colorful terrazzo floor designed by local artist Julie Chang, but there are elevators and escalators along the length of the building. John King,, "Park-topped Transbay transit center pays architectural dividends, past troubles aside," 26 Aug. 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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Time Traveler for escalator

Time Traveler

The first known use of escalator was in 1900

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Statistics for escalator

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Escalator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for escalator


How to pronounce escalator (audio) How to pronounce escalator (audio)

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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