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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English kempe (coarse hairs), from Old English cenep (moustache; bit (of a bridle, bristling with points)), from Proto-Germanic *kanipaz (beard, moustache, whiskers), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵenHw-, *ǵnā(w)- (jaw). Related to camp, chin.


kemp (plural kemps)

  1. Coarse, rough hair, wool, or fur; (in the plural) knotty hairs that will not felt.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English kempe, campe (shaggy, rough).


kemp (comparative more kemp, superlative most kemp)

  1. Shaggy; rough.

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English kempen, from Old English *cempan (to do battle, fight), from Proto-Germanic *kampijaną (to campaign, do battle). Cognate with Middle Dutch kempen, Middle Low German kempen, German kämpfen (to struggle).


kemp (third-person singular simple present kemps, present participle kemping, simple past and past participle kemped)

  1. (intransitive) To strive or contend in any way; strive for victory.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 4[edit]

From Middle English kempe, from Old English cempa (warrior, fighter, champion), from Proto-Germanic *kampijô (fighter). Cognate with Middle Dutch kempe, German Kämpe, Swedish kämpe.


kemp (plural kemps)

  1. A champion; a knight.