- To escalate is defined as to increase quickly, to become more serious or to become worse.
- An example of escalate is when the price of grain quickly goes up.
- An example of escalate is when tensions between two countries become worse.
intransitive verbescalated, escalating
- to rise on or as on an escalator
- to expand step by step, as from a limited or local conflict into a general, esp. nuclear, war
- to grow or increase rapidly, often to the point of becoming unmanageable, as prices or wages
Origin of escalateback-formation ; from escalator
verbes·ca·lat·ed, es·ca·lat·ing, es·ca·lates
- To increase, enlarge, or intensify: escalated the hostilities in the Persian Gulf.
- To pass (a transaction or case) on to a higher level in an organizational hierarchy: escalated the customer's complaint.
Origin of escalateBack-formation from escalator.
(third-person singular simple present escalates, present participle escalating, simple past and past participle escalated) (transitive and intransitive)
Back-formation from escalator.