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

Coated in iridescent glass and neon lights, the escalator serves as a contemporary intervention among the floor’s towering central beams, which date back to the store’s opening in 1924. Zachary Weiss, Vogue, "Halsey Performs for an A-List Crowd at the Newly Redesigned Saks Fifth Avenue," 8 Feb. 2019 Donald Trump didn’t take that famous ride down the escalator until June. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "Who’s In and Who’s Out of the 2020 Presidential Race—So Far," 3 Jan. 2019 So the coaches are up front in the plane, and Denny was sprinting to an escalator and tripped, and a bunch of us saw it. Conor Orr,, "The Greatest Team Never to Make It: An Oral History of the 1998 Vikings," 27 June 2018 But after disembarking from the escalator, track down a bathroom or whip out your hand sanitizer to get rid of some of those germs. 3. Sophie Saint Thomas, SELF, "Wash Your Hands Immediately After Touching These 8 Things at the Airport," 30 Oct. 2018 Most of the bays are gone, including the escalators that provided access. Seattle Sketcher Gabriel Campanario, The Seattle Times, "Seattle’s Convention Place bus station is going, going, almost gone," 12 Sep. 2018 The walls and ceiling along the escalator are bathed in blue light, and guests pass through a fog screen onto which underwater scenes are projected. Arthur Levine, USA TODAY, "Go on an Ocean Odyssey in Times Square with National Geographic," 31 Jan. 2018 Parked under some escalators was a Karlmann King, bombastic multimillion-dollar SUV based on a Ford F550 and rocking stealth-fighter styling. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Car Shows Used to Be Amazing—And They Might Be Again," 5 Dec. 2018 Toppling down the escalator with all your luggage isn’t ideal. Sophie Saint Thomas, SELF, "Wash Your Hands Immediately After Touching These 8 Things at the Airport," 30 Oct. 2018

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

5 Mar 2019

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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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