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

Noun Companies that pollute are the target of a new crackdown.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Washington also responded with measures like visa bans on Chinese officials tied to the crackdown in Hong Kong. Washington Post, "The U.S. sanctions against Hong Kong officials, explained," 8 Aug. 2020 Sunday's election has been marked by a crackdown on opposition candidates, according to news reports, with many barred from running. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, "Tyga Asked to Cancel Belarus Concert Criticized as "Propaganda Stunt"," 6 Aug. 2020 The bars were among the first four to be shut down in a new state crackdown on establishments flouting the rules. Jeff Adelson,, "Grand Isle bar is shut down for 30 days after violating coronavirus restrictions," 6 Aug. 2020 These national-security worries parallel a broader U.S. security crackdown on Chinese companies, including telecom providers Huawei and ZTE. Dallas News, "Trump insists he’ll move to ban TikTok in the U.S. as soon as Saturday," 1 Aug. 2020 In 2014, the year before the start of the government crackdown in Xinjiang, there were 3,214 sterilizations in the region -- in 2018, there were 60,440. Ben Westcott, CNN, "Women in Xinjiang shine a light on a campaign of abuse and control by Beijing," 30 July 2020 On Wednesday, the same day Trump signed the legislation, Bolton accused the president of once supporting Beijing’s crackdown in Xinjiang. Steven Lee Myers,, "China lashes out at the United States over Xinjiang sanctions law," 18 June 2020 The Senate’s top Democrat compared the Trump administration’s use of the military to protect the Lincoln Memorial from protester damage to the 1989 Chinese government crackdown and killing of demonstrators in Tiananmen Square. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Schumer compares Trump's Lincoln Memorial protection to Tiananmen Square," 3 June 2020 Hong Kong police on Monday blocked a candlelit vigil marking the anniversary of China’s deadly military 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Fox News, "Hong Kong blocks Tiananmen Square crackdown anniversary vigil, citing coronavirus fears," 2 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for crackdown

Time Traveler

The first known use of crackdown was in 1935

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Last Updated

11 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crackdown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce crack down (audio)

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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crackdown

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Britannica English: Translation of crackdown for Arabic Speakers

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