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

Violence increased after factions of separatists armed themselves following a government clampdown on protests in 2017. Edwin Kindzeka Moki, The Seattle Times, "Cameroon military frees 9 abducted children, teacher," 21 Nov. 2018 Most immediately, Trump’s outburst appears to be a reaction to the recent clampdown on Jones and his Infowars network. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Trump buys into the conspiracy that social media censors conservatives," 18 Aug. 2018 But the kingdom’s inching reforms have come alongside a clampdown on activists, with an increasingly oppressive environment for those who call for changes. Loveday Morris, Washington Post, "The high price of feminism in the ‘new’ Saudi Arabia," 20 May 2018 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

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

16 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for clampdown

The first known use of clampdown was in 1938

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More Definitions for clampdown



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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