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escalate

[es-kuh-leyt] /ˈɛs kəˌleɪt/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), escalated, escalating.
1.
to increase in intensity, magnitude, etc.:
to escalate a war; a time when prices escalate.
2.
to raise, lower, rise, or descend on or as if on an escalator.
Origin of escalate
1920-1925
1920-25; back formation from escalator
Related forms
escalation, noun
escalatory
[es-kuh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈɛs kə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
adjective
nonescalating, adjective
nonescalatory, adjective
reescalate, verb, reescalated, reescalating.
reescalation, noun
Synonyms
1. advance, mount, swell.
Antonyms
1. lower, decrease, fall.
Pronunciation note
See percolate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for escalate

escalate

/ˈɛskəˌleɪt/
verb
1.
to increase or be increased in extent, intensity, or magnitude: to escalate a war, prices escalated because of inflation
Derived Forms
escalation, noun
Word Origin
C20: back formation from escalator
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for escalate
v.

1922, back-formation from escalator, replacing earlier verb escalade (1801), from the noun escalade. Escalate came into general use with a figurative sense of "raise" after 1959 in reference to the possibility of nuclear war. Related: Escalated; escalating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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