Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

WORD ORIGIN

1922, back-formation from escalator, replacing earlier verb escalade (1801), from the noun escalade. Escalate came into general use with a figurative sense of "raise" after 1959 in reference to the possibility of nuclear war. Related: Escalated; escalating.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR ESCALATE

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.