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

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

More recently, when Democrats canvassed voters across the state, Donnelly's campaign chose to focus on Tippecanoe County. Seth Slabaugh, Indianapolis Star, "Sen. Joe Donnelly needs to keep his pro-Trump voters. But can he?," 12 July 2018 Americans for Prosperity, the grassroots arm of the political network controlled by the Koch brothers, plans to spend at least $1 million in ads and canvassing to support Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY, "Schumer vows to fight Trump SCOTUS nominee 'with everything I have'," 9 July 2018 According to the Census Bureau, the ZIP code of the neighborhood where Bynum was canvassing is more than 70 percent white. Mihir Zaveri, The Seattle Times, "Police are called on black Oregon lawmaker as she knocks on doors," 6 July 2018 Virgil said police canvassed the area and within a half hour found a man who met the description that Sexton gave them. Max Londberg And Matt Campbell, kansascity, "KC-area woman sucker punched by stranger on camera. She fears it was part of a game," 11 July 2018 But all the while, Max Rose, a 31-year-old Army veteran and health care executive, was waiting in the wings — if waiting can mean corralling votes with the tenacity of a sheepdog, out-raising and out-canvassing his five Democratic challengers. Lisa W. Foderaro, New York Times, "With G.O.P. Primary on Staten Island Over, Enter the Democrat," 29 June 2018 Officers were canvassing the area for witnesses and checking for any video surveillance in the area, Buckley said. Danny Mcdonald, BostonGlobe.com, "Former candidate for Boston City Council among three men shot in Dorchester," 27 June 2018 Turner said investigators were canvassing the area for witnesses and additional evidence. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "Coroner's office identifies man found shot on east side," 13 June 2018 Now deputies and officials from the coroner’s officer are canvassing the watershed where the turtle was found for clues, the sheriff’s office said. Jared Gilmour, miamiherald, "Missing a finger? This man just found one — inside a snapping turtle, Louisiana cops say," 13 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

McComas’ lead over Tilley widened a bit to 62 after Thursday’s first canvass of 411 absentee ballots. Erika Butler, The Aegis, "Incumbent delegates Lisanti, Glass win renomination in Harford's District 34; McComas leads Tilley," 28 June 2018 The final canvass of absentee and provisional ballots is next Friday, after which election results will be final, said Nikki Charlson, the state elections deputy administrator. Rachel Chason, Washington Post, "New faces on Prince George’s council, and two races still too close to call," 28 June 2018 Local elections boards will hold a second absentee canvass to count any remaining absentee ballots, such as those mailed from overseas and military voters. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, "What happens next with counting the final votes in Maryland's primary election?," 27 June 2018 Several hundred more absentee ballots will be counted on July 6, following the July 5 canvass of 348 provisional ballots, the latter which still must be certified, elections officials said. Erika Butler, The Aegis, "Incumbent delegates Lisanti, Glass win renomination in Harford's District 34; McComas leads Tilley," 28 June 2018 Katie Brown, Baltimore County’s director of elections, said her staff was opening the locked boxes of provisional ballots Wednesday and preparing them for a July 5 canvass. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, "Absentee, provisional ballots could swing tight Democratic primary for Baltimore County executive," 27 June 2018 Everything but the artists’ tools, canvasses and some of the paint is melted, scorched or blasted to pieces. Kevin Fagan, SFChronicle.com, "Wine Country artists find new life, inspiration in the wreckage of studios," 9 July 2018 Officials have at least 268 more absentee ballots slated for the July 6 canvass, according to Keene. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Harford races for local offices remain unchanged after first absentee canvass," 28 June 2018 Bracing for the worst, most public-sector unions launched campaigns last fall to canvass members in case of an unfavorable decision, holding rallies, knocking on doors and in several cases asking members to sign legally-binding recommitment cards. Kris Maher, WSJ, "Public-Sector Unions Brace for Fallout From Supreme Court Decision on Fees," 27 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

9 Nov 2018

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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