canvass

1 of 2

verb

can·​vass ˈkan-vəs How to pronounce canvass (audio)
variants or less commonly canvas
canvassed; canvassing

transitive verb

1
: to go through (a district) or go to (persons) in order to solicit orders or political support or to determine opinions or sentiments
canvass voters
canvassed the neighborhood to solicit magazine subscriptions
2
a
: to examine in detail
specifically : to examine (votes) officially for authenticity
b
: discuss, debate
canvassed all the items on the agenda
3
obsolete : to toss in a canvas sheet in sport or punishment

intransitive verb

: to seek orders or votes : solicit
was canvassing for a seat in Congress
canvasser noun
or less commonly canvaser

canvass

2 of 2

noun

variants or less commonly canvas
: the act or an instance of canvassing
especially : a personal solicitation of votes or survey of public opinion
a house-to-house canvass to ascertain the vote before the election

Examples of canvass in a Sentence

Verb A team of volunteers is canvassing the city for the Republican Party. We go to every house to canvass voters. She is canvassing for one of the presidential candidates this year. The group has been canvassing neighborhoods to ask people to vote for him. The company canvassed several sites for a new factory.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Revelers canvassed the streets with colorful and fanciful abandonment. Lisa Vernon Sparks, Charlotte Observer, 19 June 2024 Severe weather can also impact candidates’ campaigns, as well as canvassing by their supporters. Karen Florini, Foreign Affairs, 5 June 2024
Noun
More than just a collection of Nolan’s tics, though, Oppenheimer is the director working on the biggest canvass imaginable to tell a story whose implications are too terrifyingly massive to conceive. Joe Reid, Vulture, 9 Mar. 2024 Cops apprehended him after conducting an extensive video canvass that led police to his Rego Park neighborhood, about six miles from where Chimbay was killed. Thomas Tracy, New York Daily News, 13 Jan. 2024 See all Example Sentences for canvass 

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb

see canvas entry 1

Noun

see canvas entry 1

First Known Use

Verb

1508, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

Noun

circa 1611, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of canvass was in 1508

Dictionary Entries Near canvass

Cite this Entry

“Canvass.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/canvass. Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

canvass

1 of 2 verb
can·​vass ˈkan-vəs How to pronounce canvass (audio)
: to go through (a district) or go to (people) to ask for votes, contributions, or orders or to determine public opinion
canvasser noun

canvass

2 of 2 noun
: an act of canvassing

Legal Definition

canvass

verb
can·​vass
variants also canvas
canvassed also canvased; canvassing also canvasing

transitive verb

1
a
: to examine in detail
specifically : to examine (votes) officially for authenticity
b
: to make the subject of discussion or debate
2
: to go through (a district) or go to (persons) in order to solicit orders or political support or to determine opinions or sentiments

intransitive verb

: to seek or solicit orders or votes

More from Merriam-Webster on canvass

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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