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champ1

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

Origin of champ1

1520–30; perhaps akin to chap1; see chop1
Related formschamp·er, nounchamp·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for champ at the bit

champ1

verb
  1. to munch (food) noisily like a horse
  2. (when intr, often foll by on, at, etc) to bite (something) nervously or impatiently; gnaw
  3. champ at the bit or chafe at the bit informal to be impatient to start work, a journey, etc
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noun
  1. the act or noise of champing
  2. Ulster dialect a dish, originating in Ireland, of mashed potatoes and spring onions or leeks
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Derived Formschamper, noun

Word Origin

C16: probably of imitative origin

champ2

noun
  1. informal short for champion (def. 1)
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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 champ at the bit

champ

n.

1868, American English abbreviation of champion (n.).

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champ

v.

"to chew noisily," 1520s, probably echoic; OED suggests a connection with jam (v.). Earlier also cham, chamb, etc. To champ on (or at) the bit, as an eager horse will, is attested in figurative sense by 1640s. Related: Champed; champing. As a noun in this sense, attested from c.1600.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with champ at the bit

champ at the bit

Show impatience at being held back or delayed, as in The dismissal bell hadn't rung, but they were champing at the bit to leave. This term transfers the action of a horse that impatiently bites the bit in its mouth to human behavior. [Mid-1600s]

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champ

In addition to the idiom beginning with champ

  • champ at the bit

also see:

  • like a champ
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.