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[lok-doun] /ˈlɒkˌdaʊn/
the confining of prisoners to their cells, as following a riot or other disturbance.
a security measure taken during an emergency to prevent people from leaving or entering a building:
The school remains under lockdown due to police activity in the area.
Origin of lockdown
1970-75; lock1 + -down, probably extracted from nouns formed from phrasal verbs, such as crackdown, shutdown, etc. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for lockdown


(US) a security measure in which those inside a building such as a prison, school, or hospital are required to remain confined in it for a time: many schools remained under lockdown yesterday
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for lockdown

the state of being grounded and denied privileges

Usage Note

slang's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for lockdown

also lock-down, from 1940s in various mechanical senses, from lock (v.) + down (adv.). Prison sense is by 1975, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for lockdown



  1. The state of being grounded and denied privileges: can't go to the mall; I'm on lockdown
  2. A relationship in which one is controlled or confined by the other: wanted to go to the party, but his girl's got him in lockdown
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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