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es·​ca·​la·​tor ˈe-skə-ˌlā-tər How to pronounce escalator (audio)
-skyə- How to pronounce escalator (audio)
: a power-driven set of stairs arranged like an endless belt that ascend or descend continuously
: an upward course suggestive of an escalator
a never-stopping escalator of economic progressD. W. Brogan
: an escalator clause or provision


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: 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
On her way to the main stage for a panel on Saturday, The Real Housewives of New York City star made her way down an escalator to greet an excited crowd. Dory Jackson, Peoplemag, 5 Nov. 2023 On her first day on the job, it was announced that the lender for the largest mall in the district, operated by the Westfield corporation, would retake possession of the property—a five-story retail center with spiral escalators, opposite the city’s most famous cable-car landing. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, 16 Oct. 2023 Fare evaders hopped the gates and loitered at the top of the Metro station escalators. Michael Brice-Saddler, Washington Post, 5 Nov. 2023 Last week a big array of scaffolding — akin to a sidewalk shed, but indoors — and a crane went up in Moynihan Train Hall over the escalators leading down to Tracks 13 and 14. Christopher Bonanos, Curbed, 3 Nov. 2023 Advertisement The unarmed ambassadors ride the transit system and help riders on train platforms or Metro hubs, pointing them in the right direction during major disruptions or helping elderly people navigate when an escalator is broken. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 21 Oct. 2023 Fire suppression systems, parking lots, elevators and escalators need work, too. Steve Megargee and Todd Richmond, Chicago Tribune, 18 Sep. 2023 Freeman climbs an escalator, officers following quickly behind him. Emily Palmer, Peoplemag, 21 Sep. 2023 Kendall Jenner and Bad Bunny's Relationship Timeline Bad Bunny, wearing a backwards Gucci monogram cap, could also be seen heading down an airport escalator, carrying a classic monogram bag with neon blue detailing. Kimberlee Speakman, Peoplemag, 30 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'escalator.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



from Escalator, a trademark

First Known Use


1900, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1930, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of escalator was in 1900

Dictionary Entries Near escalator

Cite this Entry

“Escalator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a moving set of stairs arranged like a continuous belt

More from Merriam-Webster on escalator

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