clamp·​down | \ˈklamp-ˌdau̇n \

Definition of clampdown 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: the act or action of making regulations and restrictions more stringent a clampdown on charge accounts, bank loans, and other inflationary influencesTime

clamp down


Definition of clamp down (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to impose restrictions : crack down the police are clamping down on speeders

Examples of clampdown in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

He’s used harsh anti-LGBT rhetoric in the past and promised clampdowns against the gay community, including, in 2016, threatening to arrest people who were connected to gay men through social networks. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Tanzania’s anti-gay crackdown is sending people into hiding," 9 Nov. 2018 The frenetic and unthinking clampdown on the seasonal visas has been disastrous for Maryland’s fragile and beloved blue crab industry. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, "Many Maryland watermen deny the crab crisis is Trump’s fault. Except it is.," 7 May 2018 Oliver also targeted China’s corruption clampdown and online censorship of Winnie the Pooh, who is said to bear a resemblance to Xi. James Rogers, Fox News, "John Oliver blocked: China's Weibo website clamps down on comedian for mocking President Xi Jinping," 21 June 2018 The government is justifying its latest clampdown on imports by citing economic security. Andrew Torchia, The Christian Science Monitor, "Iran bans over 1,300 imports amid protests over its plunging currency," 26 June 2018 But their clampdown on banks is yet another blow to the market, which has already seen regulators in the U.S., Japan, South Korea and China enact restrictions on trading and fundraising. Gregor Stuart Hunter, WSJ, "Regulators World-Wide Are Cracking Down on Cryptocurrencies. India’s Next.," 6 Apr. 2018 This week the central bank reinforced its clampdown on bad loans in the industry. The Economist, "Business this week," 15 Feb. 2018 China is escalating its clampdown on cryptocurrency trading, targeting online platforms and mobile apps that offer exchange-like services, people familiar said. Erin Roman,, "Everything You Need to Know This Morning From Daybreak (Podcast)," 15 Jan. 2018 Others question whether the reduction in attacks is even related to the online clampdown. Ruth Eglash, Washington Post, "Israel says that monitoring social media has cut ‘lone wolf’ attacks. Palestinians are crying foul.," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clampdown.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of clampdown


1940, in the meaning defined above


1938, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for clampdown

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for clampdown

The first known use of clampdown was in 1938

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English Language Learners Definition of clampdown

: an increased effort to make sure that people obey laws and rules

Comments on clampdown

What made you want to look up clampdown? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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