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

About 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian crackdown. Washington Post, "India promotes Hindu pilgrimage as sign of peace in Kashmir," 1 Aug. 2019 Soon after coming to power in 2016, Duterte declared a deadly crackdown on drugs and his administration has been mired in accusations of human rights abuses and violence. Amy Gunia, Time, "164 Environmental Activists Were Killed While Protecting Their Homes Last Year, Watchdog Says," 30 July 2019 Already, big cannabis players are pushing for laws to prevent people from growing their own weed and for crackdowns on illicit dispensaries and dealers. Livia Gershon, Longreads, "Pot Luck," 30 July 2019 The Trump administration’s renewed crackdown on Central Americans – who are, once again, fleeing the region in droves due to violence – has sparked talk of a modern sanctuary movement. Mario Garcia, The Conversation, "More Central American migrants take shelter in churches, recalling 1980s sanctuary movement," 30 July 2019 During his remarks Monday, Pompeo took questions from the president of the Economic Club, David Rubenstein, who asked him about Russia's crackdown on protesters in Moscow, where more than 1,300 people have been arrested. John Hudson, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump directed aides to reduce US troops in Afghanistan by 2020 election, Pompeo says," 29 July 2019 Zhao was deposed in 1989 for objecting to a military crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protesters. Steven Jiang, CNN, "Li Peng, hardline Chinese premier who backed Tiananmen massacre, dies at 91," 23 July 2019 In 2017, not long after Cosco bought Piraeus, the European Union drew up a resolution to present to the United Nations condemning China’s crackdown on human-rights activists. By Vivienne Walt, Fortune, "Boxed In at the Docks: How a Lifeline From China Changed Greece," 22 July 2019 The 1990s saw dwindling oil revenues and a crackdown on undocumented migrants. National Geographic, "PLEASE SIGN UP TO CONTINUE READING," 17 July 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

4 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

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