clamp verb clamps; clamped; clamp·ing

[+ obj] 1 : to hold or press (things or parts of a thing) tightly together with a device : to fasten or tighten (something) with a clamp
The surgeon clamped the vein. He clamped the two pieces of wood together.

2 : to press or squeeze (something)
The bit was clamped firmly between the horse’s teeth. He clamped his mouth shut and refused to speak.

3 Brit : 2boot 4

clamp down on [phrasal verb]

clamp down on (someone or something) : to try harder to punish (people who are doing something that is not legal or proper)
Customs officials are clamping down on [=cracking down on] smugglers. The school should clamp down on students who cut classes. : to work harder to stop (a crime) The state is clamping down on [=cracking down on] drug trafficking.see also clampdown
clamp on

[phrasal verb] chiefly US clamp (something) on (something or someone) : to officially set (a limit, rule, punishment, etc.) for (someone or something)
The mayor clamped [=imposed] a curfew on the area after the riots. The new law clamps limits on the amount of money candidates can spend on election campaigns.


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