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

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

Woodfin’s campaign staff bypassed traditional campaign tactics like canvassing neighborhoods in favor of analytics. Anna Beahm | Abeahm@al.com, al, "Political operative wears hats for Birmingham’s Woodfin and Vermont’s Sanders," 1 Sep. 2019 Groups can still participate in media interviews, send emails and text messages, run a website, or canvass door to door during the election without running afoul of the rules. Brian Owens, Science | AAAS, "Climate facts subject to rules on partisan advertising in Canada," 20 Aug. 2019 Police are canvassing the area and speaking with witnesses, Salazar said. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "Man shot in buttocks outside apartment in Midtown," 1 Aug. 2019 He got involved in politics for the first time back then, canvassing for Bill Clinton. Sarah Jaffe, The New Republic, "The Road Not Taken," 24 June 2019 Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics Zarif had intended to travel to China today — the first stop of an Asia swing to canvass support for the nuclear deal. NBC News, "White House officials blindsided by Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif's G-7 appearance," 25 Aug. 2019 About 50 Jacksonville firefighters, including several using 11 boats for the search, were assisting with canvassing beaches along Florida's east coast, the agency reported. Corey Arwood, USA TODAY, "Search for missing firefighters continues as groups ask anyone with boat to help," 18 Aug. 2019 After canvassing for witnesses, homicide detectives believe the man was working on a car in the parking lot when another man approached and shot him. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "Man killed in northwest side shooting Friday night," 17 Aug. 2019 Others pledged to canvass and to put the results into a database called the BERN app. The Economist, "Bernie Sanders’s permanent revolution," 15 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The issue came up as an informal canvass of trustees, with board members voting 6 to 1 against asking village staff members to draft a new ordinance. Hank Beckman, chicagotribune.com, "La Grange Park says no to backyard chicken coops after residents cite concerns with attracting predators, disease outbreaks," 24 July 2019 Those surfaces, along with fences that will separate stations from traffic and bridges that will carry trains over major roads, will provide canvasses for the artists. Katherine Shaver, Washington Post, "Artists hope Purple Line station designs will inspire wonder and showcase communities," 22 June 2019 The counties, in their canvasses of shelters, camps and vehicles, found a combined 5,700 people without permanent housing. oregonlive.com, "38,000 in Portland area were homeless at some point in 2017, study finds," 20 Aug. 2019 If your little Picasso wants to kick it up a notch, larger canvasses are available for an additional fee. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "From kitties to caving: 8 great ways for kids to spend rainy days in Louisville," 12 July 2019 Some of it is just color coordination in small, unexpected places (atop Frontierland buildings), and that carries through to larger canvasses such as the exterior of Space Mountain. Dewayne Bevil, orlandosentinel.com, "Disney World: Villains After Hours event spotlights the dark side," 11 June 2019 Some remove the paint from old canvasses and reuse them for their creations. The Economist, "Researchers find a way to use minute samples to detect forged paintings," 8 June 2019 The former move was presumed — Okpala is projected for the first round — but Ryan’s departure adds a touch of dark gray to a somewhat gloomy canvass. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Stock report: On USC football momentum, Stanford basketball personnel hits, Pac-12 bowl partners and more," 7 June 2019 From there, the video trail petered out and a canvass of the area led nowhere, Cmdr. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "Inside the Detective Work on the Jussie Smollett Case," 21 Feb. 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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Statistics for canvass

Last Updated

17 Sep 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

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