noun can·vas \ˈkan-vəs\

: a strong, rough cloth that is used to make bags, tents, sails, etc.

: a specially prepared piece of cloth on which a picture can be painted by an artist

: a painting made on a piece of cloth

Full Definition of CANVAS

:  a firm closely woven cloth usually of linen, hemp, or cotton used for clothing and formerly much used for tents and sails
:  a set of sails :  sail
:  a piece of canvas used for a particular purpose
:  tent; also :  a group of tents
a :  a piece of cloth backed or framed as a surface for a painting; also :  the painting on such a surface
b :  the background, setting, or scope of a historical or fictional account or narrative
:  a coarse cloth so woven as to form regular meshes for working with the needle
:  the canvas-covered floor of a boxing or wrestling ring
can·vas·like \-vəs-ˌlīk\ adjective

Variants of CANVAS

can·vas also can·vass \ˈkan-vəs\

Examples of CANVAS

  1. a tent made of canvas
  2. Use a canvas to cover the boat.
  3. The museum has several canvases by Rubens.

Origin of CANVAS

Middle English canevas, from Anglo-French canevas, chanevaz, from Vulgar Latin *cannabaceus hempen, from Latin cannabis hemp — more at cannabis
First Known Use: 13th century

Other Textiles Terms

batt, bias, brocade, duck, flock, lawn, toile


canvased or canvassedcanvas·ing or canvass·ing

Definition of CANVAS

transitive verb
:  to cover, line, or furnish with canvas

First Known Use of CANVAS



Next Word in the Dictionary: canvasbackPrevious Word in the Dictionary: canutilloAll Words Near: canvas
May 22, 2015
nepotism Hear it
favoritism based on kinship
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears