verb (used with object)

to act as champion of; defend; support: to champion a cause.
Obsolete. to defy.


first among all contestants or competitors.
Informal. first-rate.

Origin of champion

1175–1225; Middle English < Old French < Late Latin campiōn- (stem of campiō) < West Germanic *kampiōn-, equivalent to kamp- battle (< Latin campus field, battlefield) + -iōn- noun suffix; compare Old English cempa warrior, etc.
Related formscham·pi·on·less, adjectivecham·pi·on·like, adjectivenon·cham·pi·on, nounpre·cham·pi·oned, adjectiveun·cham·pi·oned, adjective

Synonyms for champion

1. winner, victor. 4. defender, protector. 6. maintain, fight for, advocate.

Antonyms for champion

1. loser.


[cham-pee-uh n]


Gow·er [gou-er] /ˈgaʊ ər/, 1921–80, U.S. choreographer. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for champion

Contemporary Examples of champion

Historical Examples of champion

  • He has proved himself to be the world's champion of human rights.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • "I hurt my leg and cannot ride," quoth the bishop's champion.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • He was leaning forward in his eagerness; he looked so zealous to be my champion—so honest!

  • I am too busy backing the Monmouth rooster for the champion stakes.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • There is a gleam of hope; and the girl, as she looks at her champion, loves him.

    The Coryston Family

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

British Dictionary definitions for champion



  1. a person who has defeated all others in a competitiona chess champion
  2. (as modifier)a champion team
  1. a plant or animal that wins first place in a show, etc
  2. (as modifier)a champion marrow
a person who defends a person or causechampion of the underprivileged
(formerly) a warrior or knight who did battle for another, esp a king or queen, to defend their rights or honour


Northern English dialect first rate; excellent


Northern English dialect very well; excellently

verb (tr)

to support; defendwe champion the cause of liberty

Word Origin for champion

C13: from Old French, from Late Latin campiō, from Latin campus field, battlefield
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 champion

early 13c., "doughty fighting man, valorous combatant," also (c.1300) "one who fights on behalf of another or others," from Old French champion "combatant, champion in single combat" (12c.), from Late Latin campionem (nominative campio) "gladiator, fighter, combatant in the field," from Latin campus "field (of combat);" see campus. Had been borrowed earlier by Old English as cempa. Sports sense in reference to "first-place performer in some field" is recorded from 1730.


"to fight for, defend, protect," 1820 (Scott) in a literal sense, from champion (n.). Figurative use by 1830. Earlier it meant "to challenge" (c.1600). Related: Championed; championing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper