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[mass noun] The scaling of fortified walls using ladders, as a form of military attack.
- ‘Fresh information revealed that the French were fully prepared to meet an attack on Rochefort, and a council of war decided that any attempt to take it by escalade would be hopeless.’
- ‘During an escalade a large number of ladders are required.’
- ‘Ultimately, using the escalade as a form of attack proved too expensive and difficult to implement in all but the weakest castle sieges.’
Late 16th century: from French, or from Spanish escalada, escalado, from medieval Latin scalare to scale, climb, from Latin scala ladder.
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