from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To bite or chew upon noisily. See Synonyms at bite.
  • intransitive v. To work the jaws and teeth vigorously.
  • idiom champ at the bit To show impatience at being held back or delayed.
  • n. Informal A champion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. shortened form of champion
  • n. a meal of mashed potatoes and scallions
  • v. To bite or chew, especially noisily or impatiently.
  • n. Champagne.
  • n. The field or ground on which carving appears in relief.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The field or ground on which carving appears in relief.
  • intransitive v. To bite or chew impatiently.
  • transitive v. To bite with repeated action of the teeth so as to be heard.
  • transitive v. To bite into small pieces; to crunch.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bite repeatedly and impatiently, as a horse his bit.
  • To bite into small pieces; craunch; chew; munch: sometimes followed by up.
  • To pound; crush; mash: as, to champ potatoes.
  • To perform the action of biting repeatedly and impatiently: generally followed by on or upon.
  • Hard; firm: as, a good champ road.
  • n. The act of biting repeatedly, as a horse on his bit.
  • n. Mashed potatoes.
  • n. A field.
  • n. In lace-making: The ground upon which the pattern is embroidered or applied. The filling of brides or links between the figures of the pattern of lace that has no ground or bottom.
  • n. The name given to a valuable timber, the product of Michelia excelsa, a tall magnoliaceous tree of the eastern Himalaya. The wood is soft but very durable, and of an olive-brown color.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. someone who has won first place in a competition
  • v. chafe at the bit, like horses
  • v. chew noisily


Probably imitative.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
See champion (Wiktionary)
uncertain, probably imitative (Wiktionary)
From champagne by shortening. (Wiktionary)
French champ ("field") (Wiktionary)


  • So when it's noted that there is a defending champ in this year's provincial junior women's championship at Charleswood Curling Club, the term champ -- in all its singular glory

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  • The champ is giving the right, a little rope a dope, just before he pounds him and drops him for the knockout.

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  • The conference champ gets a Bowl Championship Series bid if it finishes in the top 12 in the final BCS standings or if it is in the top 16 and ahead of a champ from a conference with an automatic bid. ...

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  • Bigben stop the madness stop hating on obama you know who the new champ is and so does the rest of the world.

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  • This week's box office champ is a period western, 3: 10 to Yuma.


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  • But I guess if they say the Orange Bowl champ is the champ, well, that's the way it is.

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  • 'Champ' is the older word, with 'chomp' an originally dialectal variant that has become common latterly. In 'champ/chomp at the bit', both seem about equally common (going by Google, even in UK usage). While 'chomp at the bit' is known from 1937, 'champ at the bit' has been found back to 1885; however, the earliest sources of both are all U.S., so it doesn't look as if a BrE 'champ' has been supplanted by AmE 'chomp' in this idiom.

    August 12, 2008