crack·down | \ ˈkrak-ˌdau̇n \

Definition of crackdown 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: an act or instance of cracking down

crack 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

And Uber escaped a crackdown in London, one of its most important markets, by apologizing profusely for its past wrongs. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "This Week in the Future of Cars: Unconventional Wisdom," 1 July 2018 The Open Arms is the third rescue ship operated by humanitarian groups in the central Mediterranean to come into the crosshairs of Italian Interior Minister Matteo's Salvini's crackdown in the last three weeks. Fox News, "The Latest: Spain rescues 63 migrants near southern coast," 30 June 2018 The Open Arms is the third humanitarian rescue ship to come into the crosshairs of Salvini’s crackdown in the last three weeks. Renata Brito,, "Spanish boat saves 60 migrants, but Italy locks its ports," 30 June 2018 More than hundred people have been charged in South Florida in what federal authorities on Thursday called the largest health care fraud crackdown in history. Juan Ortega,, "A look at South Floridians charged in health care fraud, opioid crackdown," 29 June 2018 The crackdown in Louisville and across the nation involved more than 600 defendants — some accused of running pill mills — and more than $2 billion in medical fraud. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, "Major crackdown on 'drug dealers in lab coats' nets Louisville doctors," 28 June 2018 The former multidivision world boxing champion is struck by the Trump administration’s crackdown in recent weeks at the U.S.-Mexico border that has resulted in the separation of children from their parents. Lance Pugmire,, "Boxer Abner Mares makes heartfelt plea to stop family separations at U.S.-Mexico border," 20 June 2018 But the Soviet crackdown in Hungary in 1956 and the crash of an American U2 spy plane over Russia in 1960 finally snuffed out attempts to ease tensions failed when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev stormed out of a summit with Eisenhower in Paris. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump's toughness on Russia judged against his predecessors," 9 June 2018 The June 4 vigil -- commemorating the military crackdown on student protesters in Beijing in 1989 -- stands as an annual reminder of China’s pledge to preserve colonial-era freedoms and institutions in Hong Kong. David Tweed,, "China’s Warning About ‘Dictatorship’ Chant Chills Hong Kong Vigil," 4 June 2018

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

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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Comments on crackdown

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


alleviating pain or harshness

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