escalate

If an argument between you and your brother progresses from mean looks to a fist fight, you could say that the tension between the two of you escalated. To escalate is intensify or increase quickly.

When you see this word, picture an escalator that takes you up to the next floor quickly. But remember, there's something you don't like on that higher level because it's usually bad if something escalates. Prices escalate when something becomes scarce, be it a popular toy, a concert ticket, or food during a crisis. And if a war or conflict escalates, it becomes more intense and violent.

Definitions of escalate
  1. verb
    increase in extent or intensity
    “The Allies escalated the bombing”
    synonyms: intensify, step up
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    Antonyms:
    de-escalate, step down, weaken
    reduce the level or intensity or size or scope of
    types:
    redouble
    double in magnitude, extent, or intensity
    type of:
    increase
    make bigger or more
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