From Escalator created by American inventor Charles Seeberger in 1900, from Latin e (“from", "out of”) + scala (“ladder”) + -or, which forms nouns of agency. Formerly a trademark. See: the appendix. Broader usage may be influenced by escalate. For an alternative etymology, see Online Etymology Dictionary.
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɛs.kə.leɪ.tə/
- (US) enPR: esʹkə-lā-tər, IPA(key): /ˈɛs.kə.leɪ.tɚ/
- Hyphenation: es‧ca‧la‧tor
escalator (plural escalators)
- A motor-driven mechanical device consisting of a continuous loop of steps that automatically conveys people from one floor to another.
- An upward or progressive course.
2009 Feb 19, Froma Harrop, “Housing aid may revive American dream for Latinos”, Houston Chronicle:
- Lots of people fell for the pitch that real estate was an up-only escalator into the American Dream
- An escalator clause.
- They agreed to a cost-of-living escalator.