champ at the bit

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From champ (verb) (to chew noisily) + bit (part of horse's harness held in its mouth); horses tend to chew their bits when impatient with waiting.


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champ at the bit (third-person singular simple present champs at the bit, present participle champing at the bit, simple past and past participle champed at the bit)

  1. (intransitive, equestrianism) To bite the bit, especially when restless.
  2. (intransitive, idiomatic, of a person) To show impatience or frustration when delayed.
    • 2001: Byron Spice, Science Editor, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PG News read at [1] on 14 May 2006
      Pittsburgh supercomputer is complete, and scientists are champing at the bit to use it.
    • 2006: Australian Broadcasting Corporation, webpage for Ideas with wings, a radio series supporting innovation read at on 14 May 2006
      Everyone is champing at the bit to be labelled innovative.
    • 2006: Al Rosenquist of Pastika’s Sport Shop, speaking to Terrell Boettcher of Sawyer County Record, Hayward, Wisconsin, Anglers champing at the bit read at [2] on 14 May 2006
      We had quite a few people in last weekend. They’re champing at the bit, ready to go.


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