Pronunciation: (es'ku-lāt"), [key]
—v.t., v.i., -lat•ed, -lat•ing.
1. to increase in intensity, magnitude, etc.: to escalate a war; a time when prices escalate.
2. to raise, lower, rise, or descend on or as if on an escalator.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.