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[es-kuh-ley-ter] /ˈɛs kəˌleɪ tər/
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, relating to, or included in an escalator clause:
The union demands escalator protection of wages.
Origin of escalator
1895-1900, Americanism; formerly a trademark; perhaps escal(ade) + (elev)ator Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for escalator
  • 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.
  • Perform a complete operational check of each elevator, escalator and dumbwaiter.
British Dictionary definitions for escalator


a moving staircase consisting of stair treads fixed to a conveyor belt, for transporting passengers between levels, esp between the floors of a building
short for escalator clause
Word Origin
C20: originally a trademark
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 escalator

1900, American English, trade name of an Otis Elevator Co. moving staircase, coined from escalade + -ator in elevator. Figurative use is from 1927.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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