Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Coarse, rough hair in wool or fur, injuring its quality.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To strive or contend in any way; strive for victory, as in the quantity of work done by reapers in the harvest-field.
  • Shaggy; rough.
  • n. Coarse hair which is closely mingled with the finer hair or wool, and has to be separated from it before the manufacturing of fine goods, especially in goat's hair of choice and expensive kind.
  • n. Also kempty.
  • n. A champion; a knight.
  • n. The act of striving for superiority in any way.
  • n. An eel.
  • n. A boar.
  • n. The ribwort-plantain, Plantago lanceolata, more especially the stalk and spike; also, the common plantain, Plantago major, and perhaps P. media

Etymologies

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. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "The mercers sell the well-kempt gents les vêtements de Sèvres: felt berets, kemp fezzes, tweed spencers, crewneck vests, serge breeches, cheverel belts."
    Eunoia by Christian Bök (upgraded edition), p 105

    May 23, 2010

  • Short, white, hairy fibers found about the head and legs of sheep.

    February 18, 2010

  • In the 1950s, San Diego California, I remember the word used to describe an automobile, usually in modified (hot-rod) condition and if in good shape, it would be a "Cherry Kemp".

    July 25, 2009