clamp down on (someone or something)(redirected from clamp down on them)
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.