[ klamp ]
/ klæmp /


verb (used with object)

to fasten with or fix in a clamp.

Verb Phrases

clamp down, to become more strict: There were too many tax loopholes, so the government clamped down.
clamp down on, to impose or increase controls on.

Nearby words

  1. clammy,
  2. clamor,
  3. clamorous,
  4. clamorously,
  5. clamour,
  6. clamp down,
  7. clamp down on,
  8. clamp forceps,
  9. clamp-down,
  10. clampdown

Origin of clamp

1350–1400; Middle English (noun) < Middle Dutch clampe clamp, cleat; cognate with Middle Low German klampe

Related formsun·clamped, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for clamp-down


/ (klæmp) /


a mechanical device with movable jaws with which an object can be secured to a bench or with which two objects may be secured together
See also wheel clamp
a means by which a fixed joint may be strengthened
nautical a horizontal beam fastened to the ribs for supporting the deck beams in a wooden vessel

verb (tr)

Word Origin for clamp

C14: from Dutch or Low German klamp; related to Old English clamm bond, fetter, Old Norse kleppr lump


/ (klæmp) British agriculture /


a mound formed out of a harvested root crop, covered with straw and earth to protect it from winter weather
a pile of bricks ready for processing in a furnace


(tr) to enclose (a harvested root crop) in a mound

Word Origin for clamp

C16: from Middle Dutch klamp heap; related to clump

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

Word Origin and History for clamp-down
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for clamp-down


[ klămp ]


An instrument for the compression or grasping of a structure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.