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 But the new numbers suggest that fears of the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown may be a more significant factor in the slippage., "The report showed that a drop in low-income people enrolled in Medicaid was the most significant factor behind the higher number of uninsured people.," 16 Sep. 2019 Some predict that a military crackdown before October is inevitable, as Beijing seeks to save face. Ben Westcott, CNN, "The date which has both Hong Kong and Beijing on edge," 14 Sep. 2019 But the new numbers suggest that fears of the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown may be a more significant factor in the slippage. Washington Post, "Rise in health uninsured may be linked to immigrants’ fears," 13 Sep. 2019 Comment The mass demonstrations are in bold defiance of Chinese authority—but a crackdown could be incalculably costly. Liana Finck, The New Yorker, "Some Relationship Models," 23 Aug. 2019 The nationwide crackdown was previously scheduled for late June, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi intervened and asked for more time for Congress to create new immigration policy. Laurel Weibezahn,, "Fear remains high under continued threat of ICE raids," 14 July 2019 In a series of tweets on Tuesday afternoon, Michigan State Police announced their latest crackdown on speeding motorists and bad drivers. Dixita Limbachia, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State Police targeting speeders, bad drivers on 4 metro Detroit freeways," 28 Aug. 2019 This is straight from the playbook Beijing used in its 1989 crackdown on the pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. Helen Raleigh, National Review, "The End of Hong Kong as We Know It," 15 Aug. 2019 Some opponents of the administration blame its immigration crackdown for deterring people from contacting law enforcement. Nomaan Merchant,, "ICE raid on suburban Chicago company’s plant in Mississippi raises the question: What about the employers?," 14 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

27 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for crackdown

The first known use of crackdown was in 1935

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More Definitions for crackdown


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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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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