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

In January, the army launched the most brutal crackdown yet under Mr. Mnangagwa in which 17 protesters were killed, 16 raped, 26 abducted and more than 900 arrested, according to a coalition of 22 Zimbabwean rights watchdogs. New York Times, "A Music Genre Grows in Zimbabwe, Fueled by Rage Against Authority," 7 Sep. 2019 The prosecution, an offshoot of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, was part of a broader Justice Department crackdown on lobbyists who do unregistered advocacy in the U.S. for foreign governments. NBC News, "Ex-Obama counsel acquitted in case tied to Mueller probe," 4 Sep. 2019 Mexico launched the crackdown after Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican imports. Rafael Carranza, azcentral, "Once overflowing migrant shelters along southern border closing as releases plummet," 26 July 2019 Huge numbers of civilians fled Rakhine after the army launched a devastating crackdown against Rohingya Muslim civilians beginning in 2017. Shashank Bengali,, "An increasingly popular authoritarian tool: Shutting down the internet," 27 June 2019 The military launched a crackdown on Monday, dispersing the protest movement's main sit-in in the capital, Khartoum. Fox News, "Ethiopian premier visits Sudan, trying to ease deadly crisis," 7 June 2019 The costs of the crackdown and the benefits of the fishing boom haven’t been spread equally in Kasensero: There is a strong divide between the rich and the poor. Alec Jacobson, National Geographic, "Fishermen fight to survive on the world's second largest lake," 3 May 2019 The huge exodus of Rohingya from Myanmar began after security forces there launched a brutal crackdown following attacks by an insurgent group on guard posts. Wasbir Hussain, The Seattle Times, "Indian police arrest 61 Rohingya Muslims this week," 22 Jan. 2019 The 29 percent jump to 16,005 arrivals owed largely to movement by Russian speakers from countries facing financial problems, nationalism and crackdowns on civil liberties., "Ugandan synagogue leaders visit Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life," 20 Aug. 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

15 Sep 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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