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 crackdown comes as the Indian government decided this week to revoke the Kashmir region’s autonomy and downgraded it from statehood to a territory. Fox News, "India forces arrest 500 in Kashmir as Pakistan suspends key train service to disputed region," 9 Aug. 2019 There have been unintended consequences of the opioid crackdownTo address the opioid crisis, Arizona in 2018 passed the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act. Stephanie Innes, azcentral, "Counterfeit medication is endangering Arizonans. Here's what you need to know.," 9 Aug. 2019 The crackdown comes at a time of rising tension between the two countries, from the ongoing trade war to government fears of Chinese espionage in academia. Nanette Asimov,, "SFSU shutters popular Chinese cultural program under pressure from feds," 5 Aug. 2019 The crackdown by the state Department of Public Health and Human Services came only three weeks after a new law to regulate facilities like Ranch for Kids went into effect on July 1. Alex Johnson, NBC News, "Raid removing 27 kids from Montana ranch 'may be the tip of the iceberg,' lawmaker says," 25 July 2019 The state’s crackdown comes as Lake County officials released results from their first round of air quality monitoring near Medline and Vantage Specialty Chemicals, another source of ethylene oxide located a few miles away in Gurnee. Michael Hawthorne,, "Pritzker signs law aimed at reducing cancer-causing ethylene oxide pollution," 21 June 2019 The crackdown began on June 3, and the Internet was restricted two days later. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "People Are Turning Social Media #BlueforSudan With Their Profile Pics," 17 June 2019 Then, with little warning, came the crackdown a week ago. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "Sudan Protesters, Devastated but Defiant, Regroup Underground After Crackdown," 9 June 2019 But amid the crackdown, the site has faced mounting pressure from conservatives, who say that their posts are being targeted by liberal-leaning tech companies. Danielle Abril, Fortune, "YouTube Finally Bans Supremacist Videos After 14 Years. What Took So Long?," 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

18 Aug 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

Comments on crackdown

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not constant or steady

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