clamp·​down | \ ˈklamp-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce clampdown (audio) \

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

clamped down; clamping down; clamps 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 The state can always cite national security and prevailing peace in the region to continue its clampdown., "India Court Finds Indefinite Restrictions in Kashmir Illegal," 13 May 2020 Other countries — and US states — have been vague about what would be enough to trigger another clampdown. Nick Perry,, "As countries restart, WHO warns about lack of virus tracing," 11 May 2020 Despite a clampdown on people’s movements in much of the country, groups of workers travel every day from camps in New Mexico to build President Trump’s border wall. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: April 1-2," 24 Apr. 2020 As many Anchorage residents stay at home amid the coronavirus clampdown or find themselves suddenly out of work, food pantries in Alaska’s biggest city are seeing a surge of need, operators say. Paula Dobbyn, Anchorage Daily News, "Demand at Anchorage food pantries grows as coronavirus pandemic spreads," 20 Mar. 2020 The closures came amid a harsh security clampdown following rare demonstrations in several cities last weekend, all of which were broken up by police. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Egypt seals off Cairo’s Tahrir Square, thwarting protest," 27 Sep. 2019 The older part of town, on M.A. Jinnah Road, is eerily reminiscent of past military clampdowns. Ian Johnson, The New York Review of Books, "Pandemic Journal, March 30–April 5," 5 Apr. 2020 Despite a clampdown on people’s movements in much of the country, groups of workers travel every day from camps in New Mexico to build President Donald Trump’s border wall. NBC News, "White House setting up COVID-19 hotline for lawmakers," 19 Apr. 2020 Morgan and other Trump administration officials say the clampdown at the border is an urgent necessity at a time when much of the country is effectively locked down, with all but eight states under broad stay-at-home orders. Nick Miroff, Anchorage Daily News, "U.S. expels 10,000 migrants at the border during coronavirus outbreak," 10 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for clampdown

Time Traveler

The first known use of clampdown was in 1938

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Statistics for clampdown

Last Updated

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Clampdown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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How to pronounce clamp down (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of clampdown

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

More from Merriam-Webster on clampdown

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clampdown

Nglish: Translation of clampdown for Spanish Speakers

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