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- (transitive, intransitive) To increase (something) in extent or intensity; to intensify or step up.
- Violence escalated during the election.
- The shooting escalated the existing hostility.
- 2020 May 6, Philip Haigh, “Just one more stop on the long journey to HS2 fulfillment [sic]”, in Rail, page 65:
- "Operating the WCML at this intensity makes it challenging to maintain acceptable performance levels, resulting in a frustratingly unreliable service for passengers. Minor disruption can escalate into significant delays because a train running only a few minutes late can miss its slot across a junction, resulting in a snowballing effect across the network."
- (transitive) In technical support, to transfer a customer, a problem, etc. to the next higher level of authority
- The tech 1 escalated the caller to a tech 2.