canvass

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

Definition of canvass

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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
2a : 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

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

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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 At one point while out canvassing, Jerman trips on a chunk of concrete the size of a fist that’s broken off a sidewalk. Time, "Inside Bernie Sanders’ Iowa Ground Game," 1 Feb. 2020 The win for Gates comes as Democratic presidential candidates endorsed or canvassed with Markowitz, with the goal of energizing the base turnout. Aaron Navarro, CBS News, "Republican Gary Gates wins Texas State House race, kickstarting redistricting battle," 29 Jan. 2020 The indie singer/songwriter creates gorgeously gloomy songs canvassed with somber wails, and her gritty guitar sound gives her a mesmerizing onstage energy. Dallas News, "Diplo and Miguel will headline this year’s Fortress Festival in Fort Worth," 16 Jan. 2020 As of early Friday morning, detectives were canvassing the apartment to see if anyone saw anything. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Police searching for gunman who shot, killed Houston man," 13 Dec. 2019 The British comedian Eddie Izzard, who has long been an outspoken Labour supporter, was again out canvassing for his party’s candidates. Megan Specia, New York Times, "Hugh, Actually: In U.K. Campaign, Voters Find an Actor at the Door," 6 Dec. 2019 Her husband, Stu, canvassed the city looking for Stacy, and the case was featured on America’s Most Wanted. Caitlin Keating, PEOPLE.com, "3 Missouri Women Who Vanished 30 Years Ago Are Still Missing: 'I'll Never Give Up,' Says Mom," 28 Oct. 2019 The campaign will focus on engaging voters via TV and radio ads, canvassing, and digital marketing. Anthony Leonardi, Washington Examiner, "Planned Parenthood launches $45M campaign for 2020 Democrats," 16 Jan. 2020 MobilizeAmerica, a hub for creating and listing campaign actions like canvassing, says that more than 800,000 people have signed up for 1.73 million actions since 2017. Micah L. Sifry, The New Republic, "The Loneliness of the Resistance Protester," 15 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Andrew Yang attends a canvass launch and poll stop beginning at 9 a.m. in Keene, New Hampshire. Rick Klein And, ABC News, "The Note: Broad field means race for narrow slices in New Hampshire," 11 Feb. 2020 In a recent canvass of the property, fire officials also found a widespread lack of functioning carbon monoxide detectors. NBC News, "Carbon monoxide leaks leave Durham, N.C., public housing residents fearing for their safety," 11 Jan. 2020 William Weld of Massachusetts and Mark Sanford of South Carolina will also appear on the ballot — the campaign has been organizing phone banks, training sessions and canvasses for weeks in every corner of the state. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Presidential campaigns gear up in Michigan as primary season gets ready to kick off," 23 Jan. 2020 In June, one of the organizers came over to my house to do a canvass launch. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, "After Making Thirteen Thousand Calls for Kamala Harris, a Volunteer Reacts to the End of the Campaign," 4 Dec. 2019 Flaming canvass, sealed with gasoline and paraffin wax, burned some victims to death. Dave Altimari, courant.com, "State medical examiner exhumes bodies of two circus fire victims in search for DNA," 7 Oct. 2019 The guidelines will be finalized over the next several months, as members of Working Partnerships USA and TechEquity Collaborative canvass the tech landscape to decide what a passing grade is. Melia Russell, SFChronicle.com, "Tech workers want to grade companies on quality of blue-collar jobs," 23 Aug. 2019 Such a canvass would have provided Mr. Dulos the right to assert which right be was prepared to weigh more heavily in the balance. Dave Altimari, courant.com, "Attorney for Fotis Dulos files Supreme Court brief arguing gag order violates his right to defend himself," 28 Oct. 2019 Her remarkable landscapes and bright floral canvasses adorn the walls of every room in the Neumann home. courant.com, "Alda Neumann," 17 Nov. 2019

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 3

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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Time Traveler for canvass

Time Traveler

The first known use of canvass was in 1508

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Statistics for canvass

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Canvass.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/canvass. Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for canvass

canvass

verb
How to pronounce canvass (audio)

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.
somewhat formal : to look at or consider (something) carefully

canvass

verb
can·​vass | \ ˈkan-vəs How to pronounce canvass (audio) \
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 How to pronounce canvas (audio) \
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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