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

Related stories from Sacramento Bee Panhandlers can ask for cash near ATMs and stores as judge halts Sacramento crackdownSacramento wants to build large homeless shelters. Cynthia Hubert, sacbee, "This man cost Sacramento County more in one year than any other homeless person," 8 July 2018 Monitoring groups say the crackdown and insurgency that followed has caused the deaths of about half a million Syrians and sent 5 million more into exile as refugees. Louisa Loveluck,, "Syrian army raises flag above city considered birthplace of uprising against Assad," 12 July 2018 China’s crackdown on shadow banking has caused some high-profile blowups. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "Chinese Auto Sales Run Into a Lending Roadblock," 10 July 2018 Members of Occupy ICE Louisville have been camped out near the government agency's office for nearly a week, calling for it to be abolished and protesting in opposition of President Donald Trump’s crackdown on immigration. The Courier-Journal, "Beshear and ICE protests: What you missed in Louisville this weekend," 9 July 2018 This kind of paranoid rhetoric, which should sound familiar to American ears, is a hallmark of Orbán’s public commentary — and has served as a justification for all sorts of different anti-democratic and anti-minority crackdowns. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Hungary just passed a “Stop Soros” law that makes it illegal to help undocumented migrants," 22 June 2018 Since President Donald Trump took office, law enforcement officials and immigrant rights activists have warned that the administration's crackdown on immigration enforcement could create a chilling effect in undocumented communities. Samantha Schmidt, Houston Chronicle, "Deputy accused of sexually assaulting girl, 4, threatening to have mother deported if she spoke up," 18 June 2018 In December, the Tribune reported that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had ordered General Iron to conduct detailed air pollution testing, a step that signaled a potential third federal crackdown on the business since the 1990s. Ryan Ori,, "General Iron to sell North Side land site, move out in 2020," 13 July 2018 Sabraw is the judge deciding the lawsuit brought by the ACLU against President Donald Trump's administration over the separation of migrant families during a zero-tolerance border crackdown. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "Meet the judge who is forcing the government to reunite immigrant families," 13 July 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

10 Nov 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).


by force of circumstances

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