English edit


Etymology edit

From the former trademark Escalator, created by American inventor Charles Seeberger in 1900, from Latin e (from, out of) + scala (ladder) + -tor, which forms nouns of agency. See the appendix. Broader usage may be influenced by escalate. For an alternative etymology, see the Online Etymology Dictionary.[1]

Pronunciation edit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɛs.kə.leɪ.tə/
  • (file)
  • (US) enPR: esʹkə-lā-tər, IPA(key): /ˈɛs.kə.leɪ.tɚ/
  • Hyphenation: es‧ca‧la‧tor
  • Rhymes: -eɪtə(ɹ)

Noun edit

escalator (plural escalators)

  1. Anything that escalates.
    • 2006, Dudley D. Cahn, Ruth Anna Abigail, Managing Conflict Through Communication, page xiv:
      Fourth, communication researchers study the role of stress and negative attitudes as key contributors to conflict, anger as an escalator of conflict, and emotional residues as barriers to reconciliation.
  2. A motor-driven mechanical device consisting of a continuous loop of steps that automatically conveys people from one floor to another.
    There is a plastic molly-guard covering the escalator's shutdown button to prevent little kids from pushing it and stopping the escalator.
    • 2012, Andrew Martin, Underground Overground: A passenger's history of the Tube, Profile Books, →ISBN, page xiv-xv, Preface:
      I found the Tube trains morbidly fascinating, I had a simpler enthusiasm for the escalators. Everyone likes going on escalators as far as I know. It feels like a free ride, and the longer they are, the better. The only escalator in York was at Marks & Spencer's, and people would hesitate for ages before getting on, apparently waiting for the right stair to come rolling along, whereas Londoners would step on while reading a newspaper.
    • 2021 June 30, Tim Dunn, “How we made... Secrets of the London Underground”, in RAIL, number 934, page 51:
      Episode Guide: [...] Episode 1 (July 13): Exploration of both ends of the abandoned branch between Holborn and Aldwych, including an interview with the driver of the last train. And a trip to Holloway Road to find out about the Tube's only spiral escalator. [This escalator never entered service]
  3. An upward or progressive course.
    • 2009 February 19, Froma Harrop, “Housing aid may revive American dream for Latinos”, in Houston Chronicle:
      Lots of people fell for the pitch that real estate was an up-only escalator into the American Dream
  4. An escalator clause.
    They agreed to a cost-of-living escalator.

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

Verb edit

escalator (third-person singular simple present escalators, present participle escalatoring, simple past and past participle escalatored)

  1. (intransitive, informal) To move by escalator.
    Synonym: (rare) escalate
    We escalatored to the second floor.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2024), “escalator”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit

French edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from English. Genericized trademark.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

escalator m (plural escalators)

  1. escalator
    Synonyms: escalier roulant, escalier mécanique

Romanian edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from French escalator.

Noun edit

escalator n (plural escalatoare)

  1. escalator

Declension edit