canvass

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

Essential Meaning of canvass

1 : to ask (the people in an area) what they think about a candidate, project, idea, etc. A team of volunteers is canvassing the city for the Republican Party. We go to every house to canvass voters.
2 : to talk to the people in an area in order to get them to support a candidate, project, idea, etc. She is canvassing for one of the presidential candidates this year. The group has been canvassing neighborhoods to ask people to vote for him.
3 somewhat formal : to look at or consider (something) carefully The company canvassed several sites for a new factory.

Full 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

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 On the spur of the moment, someone suggested instead that the Fish wrestle Ratliff, who was there in a suit and tie to canvass for voters. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 27 Oct. 2021 Volunteers greeted him, with some offering hugs, before splitting off in pairs to canvass the park. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 20 Oct. 2021 In the hours that followed, homicide detectives would canvass the area for any tiny amount of evidence. Alex Stone, ABC News, 29 July 2021 Senate Republicans had planned to canvass homes and ask people about their voting patterns, but in May dropped the idea under pressure from the U.S. Department of Justice, which warned that the effort could violate laws against voter intimidation. Arkansas Online, 16 July 2021 Rucker, for her part, has been motivated to canvass for Democrats to protect many of the liberal policies the party secured in a newly blue Virginia — from an overhaul of policing to clean energy and LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections. Washington Post, 23 Sep. 2021 Detectives continued to canvass the area and look for witnesses. NBC News, 6 Sep. 2021 In the district’s first attempt to canvass there, community health workers had 70 conversations. Dave Altimari, courant.com, 3 June 2021 With the one-shot vaccine, nurses have to canvass a 4,007-square-mile service area only once to administer the vaccines. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, 20 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun During the neighborhood canvass, one resident’s comments left a heartbreaking mark on Horne. Washington Post, 12 Nov. 2021 During the neighborhood canvass, one resident’s comments left a heartbreaking mark on Horne. Stephanie García, baltimoresun.com, 8 Nov. 2021 During a canvass of the area, it was learned that another home also had been burglarized. Cheryl Higley, cleveland, 29 Oct. 2021 Each of Michigan's 83 counties certified local election results last week, following the standard double-checking that occurs during the routine canvass process that follows an election. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, 23 Nov. 2020 An elections official told the Washington Examiner last week that in one county, which was not named, some of the people who are part of the canvass process were sick and in quarantine, pushing the end of canvassing right to its deadline. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, 16 Nov. 2020 There is an effort already underway to conduct an in-person canvass of the 2020 vote in Utah. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 1 Nov. 2021 Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison campaigns for McAuliffe across Virginia on Saturday, including a canvass for Democrats down the ballot with Rep. Barbara Lee in Manassas Park. Rick Klein, ABC News, 29 Oct. 2021 Nearly four hours later, as police were organizing a canvass of the area, a witness spotted the woman’s body. Caroline Silva, ajc, 14 Aug. 2021

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

Learn More About canvass

Time Traveler for canvass

Time Traveler

The first known use of canvass was in 1508

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Dictionary Entries Near canvass

canvas panel

canvass

canvas shoe

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Statistics for canvass

Last Updated

7 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Canvass.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/canvass. Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for canvass

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 canvass (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

More from Merriam-Webster on canvass

Nglish: Translation of canvass for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of canvass for Arabic Speakers

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