American English

Definition of escalate verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



[intransitive, transitive]Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they escalate
he / she / it escalates
past simple escalated
-ing form escalating
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to become or make something greater, worse, more serious, etc. escalate (into something) The fighting escalated into a full-scale war. the escalating costs of health care escalate something (into something) We do not want to escalate the war.
noun [countable, uncountable] an escalation in food prices further escalation of the conflict
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: escalate