crack·​down | \ ˈkrak-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce crackdown (audio) \

Definition of crackdown

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an act or instance of cracking down

crack down

cracked down; cracking down; cracks down

Definition of crack down (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to take positive regulatory or disciplinary action

Examples of crackdown in a Sentence


Companies that pollute are the target of a new crackdown.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The case reflects one facet of the larger issue of immigration in America, and how the crackdown by the Trump administration is impacting immigrants and citizens alike. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "Man arrested for smuggling immigrants after answering Craigslist ad," 28 June 2019 Though crackdowns may be sporadic, Mexico has long enforced its border, in recent years deporting far more Central Americans than has the U.S. Dudley Althaus,, "Migration slows in Mexico. But will it last?," 23 June 2019 Under Sisi, the crackdown on Islamists and other political opponents has been far more severe than anything that had happened during the days of Mubarak. Peter Hessler, The New Yorker, "Mohamed Morsi, Who Brought the Muslim Brotherhood to the Egyptian Presidency," 19 June 2019 The crackdown is helping the city collect the taxes it is owed. Amanda Milkovits,, "On a single plot in rural Maine, a slew of Rhode Island car registrations," 12 June 2019 Yet unlike the brutal efficiency of Mr. Sisi’s gunning down of Muslim Brotherhood supporters on the streets of Cairo in 2013, the crackdown by the military junta in Khartoum was gory, recalling the atrocities of the janjaweed militia. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, "How horrors in Sudan undermined US trust in its top Arab allies," 12 June 2019 The bust, which led to the seizure of more than 3,700 plants, was part of a larger crackdown on succulent poachers who are believed to be part of international smuggling rings. Antonia Noori Farzan, The Denver Post, "Popular succulents are being stolen from California parks and sold on the black market," 12 June 2019 One is that each of these businesses should be evaluated on its own terms, not as part of a generalized crackdown. Bloomberg View, Twin Cities, "Other voices: Don’t declare war on big tech," 7 June 2019 The crackdown is the first of its kind in the United States, according to the National Association of Tobacco Outlets. Michelle Lou, CNN, "Beverly Hills to ban the sale of nearly all tobacco products. It's the first US city to institute such a sweeping crackdown," 5 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crackdown.' 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 crackdown


1935, in the meaning defined above


1939, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for crackdown

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for crackdown

The first known use of crackdown was in 1935

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More Definitions for crackdown



English Language Learners Definition of crackdown

: a serious attempt to punish people for doing something that is not allowed : an increased effort to enforce a law or rule

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More from Merriam-Webster on crackdown

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crackdown

Spanish Central: Translation of crackdown

Nglish: Translation of crackdown for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crackdown for Arabic Speakers

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characterized by aphorism

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