Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. verb To address or control something more strictly than in the past. After years of leniency, the school is finally cracking down on plagiarism.
2. noun A period of stricter control of something. When used as a noun, the phrase is usually written as one word. After years of leniency, there's finally been a crackdown on plagiarism at the school.
crack down (on someone or something)
to put limits on someone or something; to become strict about enforcing rules about someone or something. The police cracked down on the street gangs. They cracked down once last year too.
Act more forcefully to regulate, repress, or restrain. For example, The police cracked down on speeding. [1930s]
1. To increase the intensity or severity involved in preventing or regulating something: The police are cracking down on drunk driving and issuing stiffer penalties. The police cracked down after the murder last week.
2. To increase the intensity or severity involved in punishing or repressing someone: The government has cracked down on protesters.