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

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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 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 Cleveland City Councilman Basheer Jones was there, making a final pitch to voters and pumping up volunteers set to canvass the neighborhood. cleveland, 12 Sep. 2021 Volunteers canvass neighborhoods to question voters Areas from Flagstaff along the Mogollon Rim to the White Mountains received a swath of 1 to 2 inches of rainfall. Caroleina Hassett, The Arizona Republic, 1 Sep. 2021 Lathen wants to start a teen squad to canvass neighborhoods to educate both parents and their children about the vaccine. La Risa R. Lynch, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9 July 2021 The volunteers and officers worked together to canvass for home security cameras and bullet casings. Washington Post, 7 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Fire Department is looking to see if smoke alarms are installed properly, but on a recent canvass, a gas leak was discovered. Drake Bentley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4 Mar. 2021 One of the top-selling athletic shoes in the U.S. is the Nike Air Force 1, according to market research firm NPD Group — the very shoe that many customizers use as their blank canvass. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, 13 Aug. 2021 When the board met Wednesday and unanimously certified the results of the Aug. 3 primary election, the results of the canvass showed that 594 out of Detroit's 623 precincts — about 95% — were balanced. Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press, 11 Aug. 2021 The members began by hearing a canvass report from the board’s staff, providing a final tally of the absentee ballots counted and the votes cast on Election Day at polling locations across the county. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, 19 Nov. 2020 Now that Michigan's clerks have completed processing and counting ballots cast by the state's voters, each county's board of canvassers must complete a canvass of the county's election results. Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press, 7 Nov. 2020 Doing both a canvass of voters and taking the county back to court means the review effort that appeared to be wrapping up is likely to last even longer. Andrew Oxford, The Arizona Republic, 15 July 2021 The 2018 race between McAdams and Republican incumbent Rep. Mia Love lasted until the final canvass that takes place two weeks after ballots are cast, when McAdams ultimately won by fewer than 700 votes. Taylor Stevens, The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 Nov. 2020 The opportunity to reprise these roles has come with a larger canvass, with the sequel feeling more like the mashup of a James Bond movie -- only with a lot more F-bombs -- and a more conventional, wildly broad buddy action comedy. Brian Lowry, CNN, 11 June 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

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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

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Canvass.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/canvass. Accessed 20 Oct. 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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