Also called moving staircase, moving stairway. a continuously moving stairway on an endless loop for carrying passengers up or down.
a means of rising or descending, increasing or decreasing, etc., especially by stages: the social escalator.
of, pertaining to, or included in an escalator clause: The union demands escalator protection of wages.

1895–1900, Americanism; formerly a trademark; perhaps escal(ade) + (elev)ator Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
escalator (ˈɛskəˌleɪtə)
1.  a moving staircase consisting of stair treads fixed to a conveyor belt, for transporting passengers between levels, esp between the floors of a building
2.  short for escalator clause
[C20: originally a trademark]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1900, Amer.Eng., trade name of an Otis Elevator Co. moving staircase, coined from escalade, a c.1600 borrowing from M.Fr., where it meant "an assault with ladders on a fortification" (from L. scala "ladder") + -ator in elevator. Figurative use is from 1927.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
But other indices suggest that the postwar escalator has not been moving for
  quite a while.
Eyewitnesses said it left a crater at the foot an escalator, near one of the
  mall's entrances.
Install on escalators sensory devices that detect foreign objects and shut the
  escalator off automatically.
The building entrance is behind the escalator at street level.
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