champ


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be champing at the bit

To be very eager or impatient to do something. The phrase alludes to an excited horse chewing on its "bit" (a metal mouthpiece). The kids are champing at the bit to go to the park—can you take them? Now that my daughter is 16, she's champing at the bit to take the driver's test.
See also: bit, champ

champ at the bit

To be very eager or impatient to do something. The phrase alludes to an excited horse chewing on its "bit" (a metal mouthpiece). An older variant of the more common version, "chomp at the bit." The kids are champing at the bit to go to the park—can you take them? Now that my daughter is 16, she's champing at the bit to take the driver's test.
See also: bit, champ

champ down on (someone or something)

1. Literally, to bite aggressively or forcefully down upon someone or something. A less common variant of "chomp down on someone or something." She lost her tooth after champing down on an apple. I reached out my hand to pet the horse when it lunged forward and champed down on me!
2. To restrain or withhold something, as a remark or facial expression, with great difficulty and willpower. I had to champ down on the torrent of expletives dancing on the tip of my tongue. She champed down on a vindictive smile as her opponent was led away in chains.
See also: champ, down, on

like a champ

In a way that displays great determination, skill, professionalism, or grace. She got through boot camp like a champ, so any concerns I had about her pursuing a career the military are gone now. After a heartbreaking loss in the final moments of the match, Jason stood up, brushed himself off, and accepted the defeat like a champ.
See also: champ, like
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

champ at the bit

 and chomp at the bit 
1. Lit. [for a horse] to bite at its bit, eager to move along. Dobbin was champing at the bit, eager to go.
2. Fig. to be ready and anxious to do something. The kids were champing at the bit to get into the swimming pool. The dogs were champing at the bit to begin the hunt.
See also: bit, champ
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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]
See also: bit, champ

like a champ

Very well, very successfully, as in He got through that audition like a champ. This expression, in which champ is short for champion, alludes to the winner of a sporting competition. [Slang; c. 1960]
See also: champ, like
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

be champing at the bit

or

be chomping at the bit

If you are champing at the bit, you want to do something now and feel impatient because you are being prevented from doing so. Note: In the first and third expressions, a `bit' is a piece of metal which is held in a horse's mouth by the bridle and reins. Foremen had been champing at the bit to strike before next week's meeting. He had three of Goldman's best clients chomping at the bit to get a piece of this deal.
See also: bit, champ
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

champ (or chafe) at the bit

be restlessly impatient, especially to start doing something.
Champ at the bit is used literally of a spirited horse that tugs at the bit in its mouth in its eagerness to move.
See also: bit, champ
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

be ˌchamping/ˌchomping at the ˈbit

(also be ˌchafing at the bit more formal) be impatient to do or to start doing something: The players were champing at the bit as the start of the match was delayed.I know you’re chafing at the bit, so we’ll start as soon as we can.
Champ and chomp mean to bite or eat something noisily. The bit is the piece of metal which goes in a horse’s mouth and is used to control the horse.
See also: bit, champ, chomp
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

champ

(tʃæmp)
1. n. a champion. (Also a term of address.) Mark is a real champ—always there to help.
2. n. a dependable member of the underworld. (see also thoroughbred.) Lefty is a champ. He stood by me the whole time.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

champ at the bit

To show impatience at being held back or delayed.
See also: bit, champ
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

champ at the bit, to

To express impatience at delay, to be eager to get going. To champ has meant to bite, chew, or grind upon since the sixteenth century, although its precise origin is uncertain. The analogy of the cliché is to a racehorse chewing on the bit at the start of a race, anxious to be off. The term was still being used literally in the nineteenth century (“The very horses champed at their bits,” Sketch Book, Washington Irving, 1820) but began to be used figuratively by 1900.
See also: champ
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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