canvas

noun
can·​vas | \ ˈkan-vəs How to pronounce canvas (audio) \
variants: or less commonly canvass

Definition of canvas

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a firm closely woven cloth usually of linen, hemp, or cotton used for clothing and formerly much used for tents and sails
2 : a set of sails : sail sailing under full canvas
3 : a piece of canvas used for a particular purpose a hammock made of canvas
4 : tent also : a group of tents
5a : a piece of cloth backed or framed as a surface for a painting an artist's canvas also : the painting on such a surface
b : the background, setting, or scope of a historical or fictional account or narrative the crowded canvas of history
6 : a stiff material (as of coarse cloth or plastic) that has regular meshes for working with a needle (as in needlepoint)
7 : the canvas-covered floor of a boxing or wrestling ring

canvas

verb
canvased or canvassed; canvasing or canvassing

Definition of canvas (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cover, line, or furnish with canvas

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from canvas

Noun

canvaslike \ ˈkan-​vəs-​ˌlīk How to pronounce canvaslike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for canvas

Synonyms: Noun

oil, oil painting, painting

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of canvas in a Sentence

Noun

a tent made of canvas Use a canvas to cover the boat. The museum has several canvases by Rubens.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Our bookbag is a zippered, black, water-resistant poly-canvas. The Reader's Catalog, "New York Review of Books Bookbag," 17 June 2019 Krasner’s grief, her rage, her power are all contained within the canvas, layered in jagged streaks of dark brown and daubs of white. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Irrepressible Emotion of Lee Krasner," 13 June 2019 Up to nine utility boxes are eligible to be wrapped in the 2D art canvas, with the main locations being at downtown intersections on East Highland Avenue, East Chicago Street and South Grove Avenue. Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, "Art-wrapped utility box unveiled at corner of Highland and Riverside in downtown Elgin," 11 June 2019 Through artistic expression utilizing the canvas of quilts, the artists of Women of Color Quilters Network have produced works reflecting social commentary on the civil rights movement and issues of race in America. Luann Gibbs, Cincinnati.com, "Things to do in Cincinnati this week: June 10-16," 9 June 2019 The collection features traditionally feminine colors with a masculine edge, playing with suits and dresses in textiles including cotton canvas, denim, and leather. Elizabeth Denton, Allure, "Rihanna Shares First Look at Her Luxury Clothing Line in T Magazine," 20 May 2019 Researchers collaborating with Delaney on La Miséreuse accroupie (The Crouching Beggar) revealed that, in another case of recycling, the Spanish artist painted over an existing canvas, this one containing another painter’s work. Stephen Ornes, Discover Magazine, "State of Science: Physicists Discover Artwork Hidden Under Picasso's Paintings," 1 Jan. 2019 The room’s blank canvas and unique architecture allowed for Keltie and Kylee to have full autonomy in the redesign. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "This is How TV Personality Keltie Knight Crafted the Bedroom of Her Dreams," 25 Oct. 2018 Like a painter painting layers upon a canvas, objects are rendered from back to front, so those in the front obscure the objects in the back. Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "‘Ray tracing’ could bring the biggest graphics jump in a decade," 20 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The use of the commercial site allowed investigators to virtually canvas a new pool of possible suspects, which included relatives of the killer. Anita Chabria And Ryan Sabalow, sacbee, "Can DNA identify the Zodiac Killer now that it has revealed the East Area Rapist suspect?," 3 May 2018 The use of the commercial site allowed investigators to virtually canvas a new pool of possible suspects, which included relatives of the killer. Anita Chabria And Ryan Sabalow, sacbee, "Can DNA identify the Zodiac Killer now that it has revealed the East Area Rapist suspect?," 3 May 2018 The use of the commercial site allowed investigators to virtually canvas a new pool of possible suspects, which included relatives of the killer. Anita Chabria And Ryan Sabalow, sacbee, "Can DNA identify the Zodiac Killer now that it has revealed the East Area Rapist suspect?," 3 May 2018 Authorities were still at the scene and canvasing the area at about 1:20 p.m. Paige Fry, chicagotribune.com, "Shooting on Stevenson Expressway sends one to hospital," 21 June 2018 The use of the commercial site allowed investigators to virtually canvas a new pool of possible suspects, which included relatives of the killer. Anita Chabria And Ryan Sabalow, sacbee, "Can DNA identify the Zodiac Killer now that it has revealed the East Area Rapist suspect?," 3 May 2018 The show is also canvasing in other major cities such as Dallas, Seattle, New York and Nashville. Becca Smouse, azcentral, "Scottsdale resort to host casting call for 'The Bachelor' season 23," 29 May 2018 That’s why Ravens owner Steve Biscotti canvased season ticket holders when the front office was considering signing him. Steven Ruiz, For The Win, "NFL owners somehow managed to make Jed York look good with new anthem rule," 23 May 2018 Through realistic training, the candidates learn to canvas debris fields, keep their footing in rubble piles and alert handlers to live human scents. Bethany Hines, CNN, "Giving shelter dogs a new chance at life -- as search and rescue K-9s," 14 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'canvas.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of canvas

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1556, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for canvas

Noun and Verb

Middle English canevas, from Anglo-French canevas, chanevaz, from Vulgar Latin *cannabaceus hempen, from Latin cannabis hemp — more at cannabis

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about canvas

Dictionary Entries near canvas

canun

Canute

canutillo

canvas

canvasback

canvas board

canvasman

Statistics for canvas

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for canvas

The first known use of canvas was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for canvas

canvas

noun

English Language Learners Definition of canvas

: 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

canvas

noun
can·​vas | \ ˈkan-vəs How to pronounce canvas (audio) \

Kids Definition of canvas

1 : a strong cloth of hemp, flax, or cotton canvas bags
2 : a specially prepared piece of cloth used as a surface for painting

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on canvas

What made you want to look up canvas? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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