AskDefine | Define escalation

Dictionary Definition

escalation n : an increase to counteract a perceived discrepancy; "higher wages caused an escalation of prices"; "there was a gradual escalation of hostilities"

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

Etymology

back-form escalator

Noun

  1. an increase or rise, especially one to counteract a perceived discrepancy
  2. a deliberate or premeditated increase in the violence or geographic scope of a conflict

Translations

an increase or rise, especially one to counteract a perceived discrepancy
a deliberate or premeditated increase in the violence or geographic scope of a conflict

Extensive Definition

Escalation is the phenomenon of something getting more intense step by step, for example a quarrel, or, notably, military presence and nuclear armament during the Cold War. (Compare to escalator, a device that lifts something to a higher level.) The term is often said to be originally coined by Herman Kahn in his 1965 work On Escalation. While the OED records escalatory first used in that work, escalation is recorded as early as 1938.
In psychology it is a change in behavior, usually from stable or acceptable towards unstable or unacceptable.
In early 2007, the term "escalation" was used to describe a troop increase mandated by president George W. Bush during the War in Iraq. The term was under contention for implying an increase in violence.
escalation in German: Eskalation
escalation in Estonian: Eskalatsioon
escalation in Russian: Эскалация
escalation in Swedish: Upptrappning

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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