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

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Examples of crackdown in a Sentence

Noun Companies that pollute are the target of a new crackdown.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While this global regulatory crackdown appears to be unfolding all at once, analysts note that each of the world's major powers have their own — and at times, competing — reasons for expanding their oversight of the tech industry. Jill Disis, CNN, "The year the world gave up waiting for Big Tech to fix itself," 28 Dec. 2020 The 2015 arrests of Dundar and Erdem Gul, a colleague, were part of a years-long crackdown on journalists and media outlets by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. Washington Post, "World Digest: Dec, 23, 2020," 24 Dec. 2020 The probe is part of an accelerating crackdown on anticompetitive behavior in China’s booming internet space, and the latest setback for Ma, the 56-year-old former school teacher who founded Alibaba and became China’s most famous entrepreneur. NBC News, "China launches antitrust investigation into tech giant Alibaba," 24 Dec. 2020 In 2012 and 2013, a crackdown on graft in China pummeled Moutai stock, since the drink is popular at official dinners and for gifts. Chong Koh Ping, WSJ, "China’s Liquor Giants Intoxicate Investors," 22 Dec. 2020 Before the text messages threatening to kill his family, Drew Pavlou gathered a small group of students on a busy walkway at the University of Queensland to protest the Chinese government’s repression of Uighur Muslims and crackdown on Hong Kong. Los Angeles Times, "An Australian student denounced his university’s ties to China. Then he became a target," 21 Dec. 2020 The Chinese government declared martial law, and tens of thousands of troops killed thousands during a crackdown, according to reporters and Western diplomats. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "DOJ charges Zoom employee for helping Chinese government shut down Tiananmen Square commemorations," 18 Dec. 2020 Advocates are hoping the change will lead to an acknowledgement of the city's dangerous air pollution – and a crackdown. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, "Air pollution officially blamed for little girl's death in UK 7 years after she died," 17 Dec. 2020 Throughout last year’s protests and this year’s crackdown, Hong Kongers have been remarkably versatile in their use of language, coining protest slang and inventing code to evade censors. Dan Kopf, Quartz, "This is the year Hong Kong began speaking the Communist Party’s authoritarian language," 16 Dec. 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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Statistics for crackdown

Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crackdown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on crackdown

Nglish: Translation of crackdown for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crackdown for Arabic Speakers

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