lock·​down | \ ˈläk-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce lockdown (audio) \

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

As schools around the country reopen, many students will go through active shooter drills and practice school lockdowns. Dakin Andone, CNN, "Teachers and parents prepare students for a new school year after a deadly summer," 24 Aug. 2019 The city center is almost deserted, and the seaside around the casino where leaders will meet is under lockdown. Washington Post, "Security squeeze in French resort for G-7 leaders’ summit," 24 Aug. 2019 Georgia needs to develop a backup for Fromm, identify a big-play receiver and find a consistent pass rush and a lockdown cornerback. Edgar Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "2019 College Football Countdown: No. 3 Georgia looks to break through, win SEC," 22 Aug. 2019 Kashmir has seen mass arrests and lockdowns before. NBC News, "At least 2,300 detained in locked-down Indian-ruled Kashmir," 21 Aug. 2019 Crenshaw Elementary, which is in the Channelview Independent School District, has been placed on lockdown for precautionary measures, officials said. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "Crenshaw Elementary on lockdown as police search for suspect," 21 Aug. 2019 Her classroom was adorned with an American flag and the lockdown rules for an intruder scare. Richard Fausset, New York Times, "Louisiana Says ‘Oui’ to French, Amid Explosion in Dual-Language Schools," 21 Aug. 2019 Kashmir has seen mass arrests and lockdowns before. Aijaz Hussain, BostonGlobe.com, "Kashmir police say thousands detained in crackdown in region," 20 Aug. 2019 Personnel have monitored and given tactical guidance to officers at the scene of 142 real-life incidents within the schools, including lockdowns for crimes happening on and off school property. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, "10,000 surveillance cameras anchor sheriff’s enhanced 'Real Time Crime Center’ for school, community safety," 14 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for lockdown

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for lockdown

The first known use of lockdown was in 1973

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More Definitions for lockdown


lock·​down | \ ˈläk-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce lockdown (audio) \

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

Comments on lockdown

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one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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