canvass

verb
can·​vass | \ ˈkan-vəs \
variants: or less commonly canvas
canvassed; canvassing

Definition of canvass

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 obsolete : to toss in a canvas sheet in sport or punishment
2a : to examine in detail specifically : to examine (votes) officially for authenticity
b : discuss, debate canvassed all the items on the agenda
3 : 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

intransitive verb

: to seek orders or votes : solicit was canvassing for a seat in Congress

canvass

noun
variants: or less commonly canvas

Definition of canvass (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

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Other Words from canvass

Verb

canvasser or less commonly canvaser noun

Synonyms for canvass

Synonyms: Verb

interview, poll, solicit, survey

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

An elections canvassing board then began formally recording the results and inspecting ballots that required a judgment call. Andrew Duehren, WSJ, "Manual Recount Under Way in Florida’s Tight Senate Race," 16 Nov. 2018 While canvassing the area, officers spotted Johnson in the 600 block of North Rampart Street. Emily Lane, NOLA.com, "Teen robbed pair at knifepoint near St. Louis Cathedral: NOPD," 10 Jan. 2018 Black Democrats have been reaching voters through a combination of canvassing, social media messaging and direct contact at churches. Matt Viser, The Seattle Times, "Democrats work to energize African Americans in Mississippi Senate runoff," 26 Nov. 2018 Throughout the state, Black women organized, canvassed, and worked at the polls to ensure their community was represented in a historic election that had the potential to change the state’s politics. Taylor Crumpton, Teen Vogue, "Beto O'Rourke Won With Texas's Black Women Because We Are Still the Moral Compass of United States Politics," 12 Nov. 2018 Partnering with teenagers from Chicago antiviolence groups, teams of young people canvassed surrounding blocks and rang doorbells. Mark Guarino, BostonGlobe.com, "Students begin tour to address gun violence," 17 June 2018 So Kennedy canvassed, and challenged, his focus group of two. David Margolick, Time, "The Mysterious Woman Who Could Answer a Key Question About RFK's Legacy—If Only We Could Find Her," 5 June 2018 The police canvassed the neighborhood, talking to people on the street and interviewing workers at a corner store near the school bus stop. CBS News, "Etan Patz case: 1979 disappearance of NYC boy continues to haunt investigators," 15 Apr. 2018 Janelle Bynum, a black politician in Oregon, was canvassing door-to-door in a neighborhood when a sheriff’s deputy showed up. Gabby Ferreira, sacbee, "Black politician was campaigning in an Oregon neighborhood. Her constituent called the cops," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Politicians must ask permission of gangs to hold rallies or canvass in many neighborhoods, law-enforcement officials and prosecutors said. Robbie Whelan, WSJ, "Why Are People Fleeing Central America? A New Breed of Gangs Is Taking Over.," 2 Nov. 2018 Juliana Vallejo of Falls Church, Va.,creates big abstract expressionistic canvasses filled with bold hues. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Art exhibit in Pigtown humanizes female sex workers and drug addicts," 6 July 2018 The digital address canvass offers a glimpse into how and where the country is changing. Paul Overberg, WSJ, "For Next U.S. Census, Cameras in Space Replace Boots on the Ground," 10 Oct. 2018 Results will be considered official after a state canvass; even then, there could be legal challenges. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Trump-backed Kris Kobach claims 'tentative victory' in Kansas primary, ahead by slim margin," 8 Aug. 2018 That usually takes a few weeks through a process known as the canvass, in which each vote is counted and verified, then officially certified, first by the local counties and then by the secretary of state or state Board of Elections. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Why it takes so long to get election night results," 6 Nov. 2018 The official canvass of absentee and provisional ballots must be completed by Aug. 24. Reid J. Epstein, WSJ, "What Comes Next for Ohio’s Tight Special Election?," 8 Aug. 2018 Yamahira — who now lives in Seattle after living in New York, London and Tokyo — unweaves canvasses, releasing the individual fibers to reveal the true nature of a form that usually plays a supporting role. Gayle Clemans, The Seattle Times, "‘The Veil’ exhibition at Bridge Productions spans ideas of what’s seen and unseen," 7 Aug. 2018 They are flanked by eight rectangular canvasses that feature contemporary African-American adults standing behind a baby in a floating reed basket. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Artists explore American identity in Sondheim Artscape Prize exhibit," 21 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of canvass

Verb

1508, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

circa 1611, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for canvass

Verb

see canvas entry 1

Noun

see canvas entry 1

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Statistics for canvass

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for canvass

The first known use of canvass was in 1508

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More Definitions for canvass

canvass

verb

English Language Learners Definition of canvass

: to ask (the people in an area) what they think about a candidate, project, idea, etc.

: to talk to the people in an area in order to get them to support a candidate, project, idea, etc.

: to look at or consider (something) carefully

canvass

verb
can·​vass | \ ˈkan-vəs \
canvassed; canvassing

Kids Definition of canvass

: to go to (people) to ask for votes, contributions, or orders for goods or to determine public opinion

Other Words from canvass

canvasser noun

canvass

verb
can·​vass
variants: also canvas \ ˈkan-​vəs \
canvassed also canvased; canvassing also canvasing

Legal Definition of canvass

transitive verb

1a : 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on canvass

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for canvass

Spanish Central: Translation of canvass

Nglish: Translation of canvass for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of canvass for Arabic Speakers

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