lock·​down | \ ˈläk-ˌdau̇n \

Definition of lockdown

1 : the confinement of prisoners to their cells for all or most of the day as a temporary security measure
2 : an emergency measure or condition in which people are temporarily prevented from entering or leaving a restricted area or building (such as a school) during a threat of danger … the school went on lockdown when a student brought a pellet gun to campus.— Ian Gordon

Examples of lockdown in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Part of one building at the sprawling hospital has been evacuated and the rest is under lockdown. Fox News, "Latest: Police say no shots fired in hospital disturbance," 12 Sep. 2018 When it was learned that Vacher was at the school, officials advised school staff that the building go under lockdown as a precaution, police said. Andrew Grant, BostonGlobe.com, "Braintree parent faces charges after bringing gun to elementary school," 19 May 2018 Lebanon High School is under lockdown, and all other schools in the small Linn County city are on lockout, according to the local school district. Jim Ryan, OregonLive.com, "Lebanon High on lockdown, other schools on lockout; no shooting reported," 18 May 2018 Earlier this year the school was under a precautionary lockdown after there had been a report of popping sounds in the area thought to be from a firearm. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Things to know about Santa Fe High School, just south of Houston," 18 May 2018 The director of community relations for Utica Community Schools, Tim McAvoy, confirmed that Crissman Elementary School, close to the incident, was put under lockdown under the advice of authorities. Aleanna Siacon, Detroit Free Press, "Crissman Elementary in Shelby Township dismissed after lockdown for police situation," 26 Apr. 2018 Parts of Southern University at New Orleans were under lockdown for an hour Friday afternoon (April 20) for an active-shooter training exercise performed by SUNO campus police and the New Orleans Police Department. Wilborn P. Nobles Iii, NOLA.com, "New Orleans police join SUNO in teaching staff how to react to shootings," 20 Apr. 2018 Authorities had put parts of the highly militarized Himalayan region under lockdown after the shooting. Washington Post, "World Digest: March 5, 2018," 5 Mar. 2018 Officials are currently investigating a third threat at Windermere High School, which is still under lockdown. Bianca Padró Ocasio, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Threats force lockdown at several Orange County schools, deputies say," 16 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lockdown.' 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 lockdown

1973, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

31 Dec 2018

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The first known use of lockdown was in 1973

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More Definitions for lockdown


lock·​down | \ ˈläk-ˌdau̇n \

Legal Definition of lockdown

: the confinement of prisoners to their cells for a temporary period as a security measure

More from Merriam-Webster on lockdown

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lockdown

Nglish: Translation of lockdown for Spanish Speakers

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