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

The Security Council meeting on Tuesday commemorated the first anniversary of the crackdown. Edith M. Lederer, The Seattle Times, "Cate Blanchett: Nothing prepared me for Rohingya suffering," 28 Aug. 2018 Regardless, the Trump administration falsely claims critics of the crackdown on undocumented immigrants are merely supporters of the violent gang. Politifact, Teen Vogue, "Trump's Lies and Misleading Claims Have Grown in Volume Since the Start of the Presidency," 22 Aug. 2018 This little block turned out to represent the hellscape that some neighborhoods in San Francisco have become — and then, within weeks, became part of a crackdown on tent encampments by Mayor Mark Farrell. San Francisco Chronicle, "“There is a suitcase full of human s— on the corner of Isis and 13th,” the email read. “Last night, I had to threaten violence to a man smoking crystal meth on my front porch. This morning, my 2-year-old son and I watched a rat rummage through the trash in our gutter.," 25 June 2018 Ortega, 72, has since dropped his original plan for pensions, but opponents are now calling for his resignation, as well as for democratic reforms and justice for victims of the crackdown. Ciara Nugent, Time, "Clinging to Power Amid Violent Protests, Nicaragua’s President Faces a Crisis Point," 14 June 2018 As part of a crackdown on migration, a one-year jail sentence has been proposed for anyone entering the country illegally. Tom Kington,, "Italy's refusal of rescue ship leaves 629 migrants at sea and exposes growing EU fault lines," 13 June 2018 Amnesty International on Wednesday condemned Abbas’s detention, saying his arrest is part of a crackdown by Egyptian authorities on freedom of expression. Samy Magdy,, "Egypt detains activist blogger amid new wave of arrests," 23 May 2018 Al Amoudi, born in Ethiopia to a Saudi father and an Ethiopian mother, was detained in November in Saudi Arabia as part of a crackdown on alleged corruption. Nizar Manek,, "Ethiopia Lobbies for Release of Billionaire in Saudi Arabia," 20 May 2018 The president also once mused about prosecuting members of his administration who were leaking sensitive information to the press, and whether reporters themselves might also be jailed as part of a crackdown, according to the memos. NBC News, "Comey memos detail his version of meetings with Trump, Priebus," 20 Apr. 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

17 Feb 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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a servile follower or underling

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