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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

TRENDING Black Oregon lawmaker says constituent called cops on her for canvassing neighborhood. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Trump slams OPEC over gas prices; porn star lawyer eyes 2020 presidential run," 5 July 2018 The Clinkenbeards annually planted a large community garden in their yard, and often would canvass their neighborhood to distribute tomatoes and zucchinis. Clifford Ward, chicagotribune.com, "Officials: Deaths of 3 in Winfield family investigated as homicide-suicide; each had ‘multiple sharp force injuries’," 23 May 2018 Police canvassed the area Friday, looking for witness and surveillance video. Hudson Sangree, sacbee, "Police still looking for leads in Friday's Meadowview shooting | The Sacramento Bee," 7 May 2018 Fortunato's volunteers had planned to canvass nearby Kenner neighborhoods on Feb. 24 and stopped by the school giveaway at Mains' request to help to hand out food, Fortunato said. Michelle Hunter, NOLA.com, "Jefferson Parish schools warn candidates to keep politics off campus," 3 Mar. 2018 The diverse, multigenerational group is eager to stuff envelopes and canvass neighborhoods. Essence.com, "Can She Turn A Red State Blue? Stacey Abrams Intends To In Georgia," 26 Apr. 2018 Cruelty investigators are canvassing the neighborhood looking for leads in connection with what happened. Ann Zaniewski, Detroit Free Press, "Plastic-wrapped puppy found on Detroit sidewalk," 23 Feb. 2018 The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Rivko Knox, a Democratic precinct committee member who also participates in door-to-door canvassing efforts for the League of Women Voters of Arizona. Jacques Billeaud, azcentral, "Lawsuit filed against 2016 law that bans groups from collecting mail-in ballots," 4 July 2018 All results are unofficial until they have been canvassed by their respective entities at their next meeting. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Low voter turnout for Uniform elections," 6 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The babysitter called police for help, prompting officers to establish a perimeter within the neighborhood and a canvass search to find the child and Williams, Glendale police said. Nathan J. Fish, azcentral, "Man charged in kidnapping of Glendale 2-year-old," 25 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about canvass

Phrases Related to canvass

under canvas

Statistics for canvass

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for canvass

The first known use of canvass was in 1508

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on canvass

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to teach someone the beliefs of a group

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!