- 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.
escalate definition by Webster's New World
intransitive verb escalated, 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: back-formation ; from escalator
to cause to escalate
escalate definition by American Heritage Dictionary
verb es·ca·lat·ed, es·ca·lat·ing, es·ca·lates verb, transitive
To increase, enlarge, or intensify: escalated the hostilities in the Persian Gulf.verb, intransitive
To increase in intensity or extent: “a deepening long-term impasse that is certain to escalate” (Stewart L. Udall).
Origin: Back-formation from escalator.
- esˌca·laˈtion noun
- esˈca·la·toˌry adjective