• synonyms


[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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  1. the act of champing.
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  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 champer


  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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  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


  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 champer



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

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"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 champer


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.