English

Definition of escalate verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

escalate

 verb
verb
BrE BrE//ˈeskəleɪt//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈeskəleɪt//
 
[intransitive, transitive]Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they escalate
BrE BrE//ˈeskəleɪt//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈeskəleɪt//
 
he / she / it escalates
BrE BrE//ˈeskəleɪts//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈeskəleɪts//
 
past simple escalated
BrE BrE//ˈeskəleɪtɪd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈeskəleɪtɪd//
 
past participle escalated
BrE BrE//ˈeskəleɪtɪd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈeskəleɪtɪd//
 
-ing form escalating
BrE BrE//ˈeskəleɪtɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈeskəleɪtɪŋ//
 
 
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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. Word Origin 1920s (in the sense ‘travel on an escalator’): back-formation from escalator.Extra examples The budget escalated to £32 million. The conflict could escalate rapidly into a full-scale war. The cost of raw materials has escalated sharply. The risks gradually escalate. Violence between the two sides has been steadily escalating. a small local disagreement that escalates to civil war
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: escalate