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 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

Hanson took students to peace rallies and demonstrations, exposed them to social programs for kids in Hartford, talked about women’s liberation and had his students canvass working class neighborhoods in nearby Putnam. Anne M. Hamilton, courant.com, "Extraordinary Life: A Passion For Women's Rights, Social Justice," 1 July 2018 That was the beginning of Termination for Medical Reasons, a support group and campaign organization that now includes upward of 50 women, as well as their partners, who lobby politicians, speak at events and canvass neighborhoods. Isaac Stanley-becker, Washington Post, "How an Irish-American woman’s legal case helped spur Ireland’s abortion referendum," 17 May 2018 He and his staff are expected to canvass events across the country following players IU fans know well, and looking for new faces to fill out their board for the fall. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: IU basketball's 5 primary targets for 2019 recruiting class," 9 July 2018 That included as recently as late June, DiNatale said, the day Walsh visited Fitchburg with Koh to canvass neighborhoods on behalf of his campaign. Matt Stout, BostonGlobe.com, "In backing Gifford for Congress, Fitchburg mayor rebuffed others — including Marty Walsh," 8 July 2018 In this April 14, 2018, photo, Deb Patterson prepares to canvass in Independence, Ore.. hoping to win the Oregon May 15 primary and unseat four-term Republican Sen. Jackie Winters in November. Washington Post, "Democrats strive to tighten their hold in several states," 29 Apr. 2018 View this post on Instagram So grateful to all the folks canvassing, phonebanking, galvanizing the #vote! Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Who Is Cory Booker Dating? Here's Everything We Know," 1 Feb. 2019 GetCovered staffers are tasked with performing outreach full-time, including phone calls, canvassing, and appearing at events, according to the mayor’s office. Katie Honan, WSJ, "Mayor de Blasio Drafts City Workers to Push Health Care Programs," 22 Jan. 2019 Schrier spent part of the day canvassing homes with volunteers in the Covington area. Jim Brunner, The Seattle Times, "Kim Schrier leads Dino Rossi in 8th Congressional District," 6 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Board of Elections staffers counted 214 provisional ballots during the second of three post-election day canvasses Thursday morning. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Leaders in 2018 Harford races remain there after provisional ballot canvass Thurs.," 5 July 2018 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

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

13 Apr 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.
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

Comments on canvass

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