1. a scaling or mounting by means of ladders, especially in an assault upon a fortified place.

verb (used with object), es·ca·lad·ed, es·ca·lad·ing.

  1. to mount, pass, or enter by means of ladders.


  1. an assault by the use of ladders, esp on a fortification


  1. to gain access to (a place) by the use of ladders

1590s, “action of using ladders to scale the walls of a fortified place,” from Middle French escalade (16c.) “an assault with ladders on a fortification,” from Italian scalata, fem. past participle of scalare “to climb by means of a ladder,” from scala “ladder,” related to Latin scandere “to climb” (see scan). For initial e-, see especial.

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