Etymology
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escalator (n.)

1900, American English, trade name of an Otis Elevator Co. moving staircase, coined from escalade + -ator in elevator. Figurative use is from 1927 (in advertising).

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escalate (v.)

1922, "to use an escalator," back-formation from escalator, replacing earlier verb escalade (1801), from the noun escalade. Escalate came into general use with a figurative sense of "raise" from 1959 (intrans.), originally in reference to scenarios for possible nuclear war. Related: Escalated; escalating. Transitive figurative sense is by 1962.

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