from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A moving stairway consisting of steps attached to a continuously circulating belt.
  • n. An escalator clause.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A motor-driven mechanical device consisting of a continuous loop of steps that automatically conveys people from one floor to another.
  • n. An upward or progressive course.
  • n. An escalator clause.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A stairway or incline arranged like an endless belt so that the steps or treads ascend or descend continuously, and one stepping upon it is carried up or down; -- originally a trade term, which has become the generic name for such devices. Such devices are in common use in large retail establishments such as department stores, and in public buildings having a heavy traffic of persons between adjacent floors.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A moving stairway.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a stairway whose steps move continuously on a circulating belt
  • n. a clause in a contract that provides for an increase or a decrease in wages or prices or benefits etc. depending on certain conditions (as a change in the cost of living index)


Originally a trademark.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Escalator created by American inventor Charles Seeberger in 1900, from Latin e ("from", "out of") + scala ("step") + -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. (Wiktionary)


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