1 of 2


cham·​pi·​on ˈcham-pē-ən How to pronounce champion (audio)
: a winner of first prize or first place in competition
a tennis champion
also : one who shows marked superiority
a champion at selling
: a militant advocate or defender
a champion of civil rights
: warrior, fighter
a champion of his king
: one that does battle for another's rights or honor
God will raise me up a championSir Walter Scott


2 of 2


championed; championing; champions

transitive verb

: to act as militant supporter of : uphold, advocate
always champions the cause of the underdog
: to protect or fight for as a champion
championed the ladies chivalrously in the tilts
archaic : challenge, defy
Choose the Right Synonym for champion

support, uphold, advocate, back, champion mean to favor actively one that meets opposition.

support is least explicit about the nature of the assistance given.

supports waterfront development

uphold implies extended support given to something attacked.

upheld the legitimacy of the military action

advocate stresses urging or pleading.

advocated prison reform

back suggests supporting by lending assistance to one failing or falling.

refusing to back the call for sanctions

champion suggests publicly defending one unjustly attacked or too weak to advocate his or her own cause.

championed the rights of children

Examples of champion in a Sentence

Noun the heavyweight boxing champion of the world Our team will play the defending champions next week. the newly crowned national champions He was a champion for the working classes. Verb She is a lawyer who champions children's rights. Our senator championed the idea of lowering taxes.
Recent Examples on the Web
The 1936-37 sports season was a banner year for Detroit's professional teams and athletes: The Tigers won the World Series, Joe Louis was the heavyweight boxing champion of the world, the Detroit Red Wings won their first Stanley Cup, and the Detroit Lions won its first National Championship. Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press, 9 Apr. 2024 All of this is at stake in Trump’s ultimate lie: his claim to be a champion of democracy rather than the architect of its demise. Serena Mayeri, TIME, 9 Apr. 2024 Ryan is also a longtime champion of New York City’s tech scene. Allie Garfinkle, Fortune, 9 Apr. 2024 That win earned the Mavericks the Brabham Cup, awarded annually to the ECHL’s regular-season champion. Zach Welch, Kansas City Star, 8 Apr. 2024 Each champion’s successful defense ahead of their respective pursuits of Olympic success provided fitting punctuation to an all-around idyllic spring North County day. Kyle Kensing, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Apr. 2024 Spanish football crowns a new champion today as Athletic Club faces off against Mallorca in the 2024 Copa del Rey Final. Tim Chan, Variety, 6 Apr. 2024 As a volunteer, Kidston ran video cameras for his church in Los Angeles, gave considerable time to nonprofits and was a champion for the disabled community. Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 Apr. 2024 The margin for error against the defending national champions was tissue-paper thin. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Mar. 2024
Democrats who have long championed civil liberties, like Sen. Ron Wyden, have aligned with Republican supporters of Trump, who in a post on Truth Social on Wednesday stated incorrectly that Section 702 had been used to spy on his presidential campaign. CBS News, 10 Apr. 2024 That year, President Biden, who championed the legislation, toured the TSMC complex. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, 9 Apr. 2024 But Coulter was quick to divert from big business to champion small ones and the proverbial little guys and gals — those struggling to pay for education after high school, or to rent or buy homes, or to start small businesses. Bill Laytner, Detroit Free Press, 5 Apr. 2024 Mendelsohn, who owns six El Pollo Loco locations, has long championed workers’ rights, including helping trans workers connect with jobs. Natasha Chen, CNN, 1 Apr. 2024 His sentencing marks a major setback for the philosophy of Effective Altruism (EA), which SBF ardently championed. James Broughel, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 Whether on platforms like Etsy and Instagram or the aisles of prominent retailers including Sephora and Ulta, Black consumers are actively and deliberately championing products crafted for and by us. Ebony Flake, Essence, 29 Mar. 2024 These were made for a variety of purposes: rehearsals, demonstrations, performances, as a sounding board for ideas, as a way to persuade conductors and programmers to champion the work. Hugh Morris, New York Times, 29 Mar. 2024 Men like me – older and whiter – must be the first to champion women and diverse ethnicity in our modern world with our votes, at the polls and on boards which pick today’s corporate leaders. Peter Georgescu, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'champion.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin campion-, campio, of West Germanic origin; akin to Old English cempa warrior

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


circa 1616, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of champion was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near champion

Cite this Entry

“Champion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
cham·​pi·​on ˈcham-pē-ən How to pronounce champion (audio)
: a person who fights or speaks for another person or in favor of a cause
: the winner of first prize or first place in a competition
also : one showing superior skill or ability


2 of 2 verb
: to protect or fight for as a champion

More from Merriam-Webster on champion

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!