1 [champ, chomp]
verb (used with object)
to bite upon or grind, especially impatiently: The horses champed the oats.
to crush with the teeth and chew vigorously or noisily; munch.
to mash; crush.
verb (used without object)
to make vigorous chewing or biting movements with the jaws and teeth.
the act of champing.
champ at the bit, to betray impatience, as to begin some action.
Also, chomp.

1520–30; perhaps akin to chap1; see chop1

champer, noun
champy, adjective Unabridged


2 [champ]
noun Informal.
a champion.

by shortening Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
champ1 (tʃæmp)
vb (when intr, often foll by on, at, etc)
1.  to munch (food) noisily like a horse
2.  to bite (something) nervously or impatiently; gnaw
3.  informal champ at the bit, chafe at the bit to be impatient to start work, a journey, etc
4.  the act or noise of champing
5.  dialect (Ulster) a dish, originating in Ireland, of mashed potatoes and spring onions or leeks
[C16: probably of imitative origin]

champ2 (tʃæmp)
informal short for champion

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1868, Amer.Eng. abbreviation of champion (q.v.).

1530, probably echoic. Earlier also cham.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
Comprehensive Healthcare Analysis and Management Program
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with champ, also see like a champ.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
The checkers champ was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which killed him less than a year later.
The former champ picked up a bird and held it firmly in his fists, fondling its feathers.
Bringing a beloved champ out of retirement and back into the ring is always dicey.
But once again the champ of college football will be decided by writers and coaches, not by the players.
Idioms & Phrases
Matching Quote
"... women are supposed to be unfit to vote because they are hysterical and emotional and of course men would not like to have emotion enter into a political campaign. They want to cut out all emotion and so they would like to cut us out. I had heard so much about our emotionalism that I went to the last Democratic national convention, held at Baltimore, to observe the calm repose of the male politicians. I saw some men take a picture of one gentleman whom they wanted elected and it was so big they had to walk sidewise as they carried it forward; they were followed by hundreds of other men screaming and yelling, shouting and singing the "Houn' Dawg".... I saw men jump up on the seats and throw their hats in the air and shout: "What's the matter with Champ Clark?" Then, when those hats came down, other men would kick them back into the air, shouting at the top of their voices: "He's all right!!"... No hysteria about it—just patriotic loyalty, splendid manly devotion to principle. And so they went on and on until 5 o'clock in the morning—the whole night long. I saw men jump up on their seats and jump down again and run around in a ring. I saw two men run towards another man to hug him both at once and they split his coat up the middle of his back and sent him spinning around like a wheel. All this with the perfect poise of the legal male mind in politics! I have been to many women's conventions in my day but I never saw a woman leap up on a chair and take off her bonnet and toss it up in the air and shout: "What's the matter with" somebody. I never saw a woman knock another woman's bonnet off her head as she screamed, "She's all right!".... But we are willing to admit that we are emotional. I have actually seen women stand up and wave their handkerchiefs. I have even seen them take hold of hands and sing, "Blest be the tie that binds." Nobody doubts that women are excitable."
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