verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of champ1
Word Origin for champ
1868, American English abbreviation of champion (n.).
"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.
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]
In addition to the idiom beginning with champ
- champ at the bit
- like a champ