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clamp down on (someone or something)

1. Literally, to press down on something firmly. When the dog's teeth clamped down on my leg, I'd never felt so much pain in my life. Now clamp down on this surface so that you don't lose your grip while drilling.
2. To limit, reduce, bring under tighter control. My parents really clamped down on me after seeing my report card, so my curfew is only 9 PM now. We really need to clamp down on spending before our department loses funding altogether. The cops are trying to clamp down on speeding on this stretch, so you should slow down.
See also: clamp, down, on

clamp (something) on(to) (something)

To attach something to another object or surface. First, you need to clamp that tool onto the table.
See also: clamp

clamp down (on someone or something)

to become strict with someone; to become strict about something. Because Bob's grades were getting worse, his parents clamped down on him. The police have clamped down on speeders in this town.
See also: clamp, down

clamp something on(to) something

 and clamp something on
to press or squeeze something onto something else. Clamp this board onto the workbench. Clear a place near the edge of the table, and then clamp on the meat grinder.
See also: clamp, on

put the clamps on someone or something

 and put the clamps on
Sl. to impede or block someone or something; to restrain or restrict someone. Fred had to put the clamps on Tony, who was rushing his work too much. Tony is getting a little anxious. Time to put on the clamps.
See also: clamp, on, put

clamp down on

Also, put the clamps on. Become stricter or more repressive; put a stop to. For example, The company was clamping down on expenses like business lunches, or It's time we put the clamps on polluters. [Mid-1900s]
See also: clamp, down, on

clamp down

1. To press down tightly on something: Clamp down the pipe securely before you try to drill a hole in it. I glued the strip of wood to the surface and clamped it down while it dried.
2. To prevent or regulate something with increased strictness: The cartel clamped down on oil production in order to raise prices.
3. To punish or repress someone or something with increased strictness: The government plans to clamp down on tax fraud with tough new laws. Crime began to increase, so the police started clamping down.
See also: clamp, down

put the clamps on someone/something

and put the clamps on
tv. to impede or block someone or something; to restrain or restrict someone. Fred had to put the clamps on Tony, who was rushing his work too much.
See also: clamp, on, put, something

put the clamps on

See also: clamp, on, put
References in periodicals archive ?
Part clamped in fixture device signalisation--prevent to the collision of part which are placed in the fixture and which are gripped in robotic arm
Clamped shapes variability--clamping of various shapes--cylinder, square
Toggle-Lock Plus clamps from De-Sta-Co have a locking release lever to ensure that the clamp stays locked in the over-center position in applications where accidental clamp opening due to vibration or other factors is a concern, such as when clamped parts are transferred on pallets or tombstones.
The parisons are clamped simultaneously in an unusual stack-type mold with three platens and two parting lines.
Use of multiple pallet systems may require that fixtures be clamped for a long time between initial clamping and final unloading.
The mold table then moves the second mold into position, which is loaded and clamped into the press.
010" tolerance is clamped at point A, the clamping force may drop below 400 lb for a part of minimum size, point B.
This loss of force is not detectable unless clamping force is measured each time a part is clamped.