canvassed; canvasses

A canvass is a poll, usually a political one. Around elections, political parties often canvass particular neighborhoods, looking for votes and trying to measure the pulse of the people.

You might think of canvass as the heavy cotton cloth that is pronounced the same although spelled with only one s, that is, canvas. Canvas is used to cover things, and a canvass serves the same sort of purpose. Before elections, politicians want to cover their neighborhoods and districts with canvasses, campaign workers, flyers and the like in hopes of securing votes.

Definitions of canvass
  1. verb
    get the opinions (of people) by asking specific questions
    synonyms: canvas, poll
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    circularise, circularize
    canvass by distributing letters
    type of:
    make a survey of; for statistical purposes
  2. verb
    consider in detail and subject to an analysis in order to discover essential features or meaning
    synonyms: analyse, analyze, canvas, delve, examine, parse, study
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    anatomise, anatomize
    analyze down to the smallest detail
    diagnose, name
    determine or distinguish the nature of a problem or an illness through a diagnostic analysis
    subject to a medical analysis
    appraise, survey
    consider in a comprehensive way
    make a survey of; for statistical purposes
    examine and note the similarities or differences of
    check, check into, check out, check over, check up on, go over, look into, suss out
    examine so as to determine accuracy, quality, or condition
    analyze (chemical substances)
    reexamine, review
    look at again; examine again
    audit, inspect, scrutinise, scrutinize
    examine carefully for accuracy with the intent of verification
    examine methodically
    follow, trace
    follow, discover, or ascertain the course of development of something
    investigate, look into
    investigate scientifically
    sieve, sift
    check and sort carefully
    consider, look at, view
    look at carefully; study mentally
    analyze or examine so as to come to terms with
    examine (organs) for diagnostic purposes
    examine minutely
    delve, explore, research, search
    inquire into
    travel to or penetrate into
    analogise, analogize
    make an analogy
    compare critically; of texts
    subject to a bio-assay
    examine, probe
    question or examine thoroughly and closely
    attempt to find out in a systematic and scientific manner
    look at thoughtfully; observe deep in thought
    look or stare at longingly
    canvas, poll
    get the opinions (of people) by asking specific questions
    follow, keep an eye on, observe, watch, watch over
    follow with the eyes or the mind
    conduct a test or investigation
  3. verb
    solicit votes from potential voters in an electoral campaign
    synonyms: canvas
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    circularise, circularize
    canvass by using a questionnaire
    type of:
    beg, solicit, tap
    make a solicitation or entreaty for something; request urgently or persistently
  4. noun
    an inquiry into public opinion conducted by interviewing a random sample of people
    synonyms: opinion poll, poll, public opinion poll, survey
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    exit poll
    a poll of voters as they leave the voting place; usually taken by news media in order to predict the outcome of an election
    straw poll, straw vote
    an unofficial vote taken to determine opinion on some issue
    type of:
    enquiry, inquiry, research
    a search for knowledge
  5. noun
    a heavy, closely woven fabric (used for clothing or chairs or sails or tents)
    synonyms: canvas
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    tarp, tarpaulin
    waterproofed canvas
    type of:
    cloth, fabric, material, textile
    artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers
  6. noun
    a large piece of fabric (usually canvas fabric) by means of which wind is used to propel a sailing vessel
    synonyms: canvas, sail, sheet
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    balloon sail
    any light loose sail
    crossjack, mizzen course
    the lowermost sail on a mizzenmast
    fore-and-aft sail
    any sail not set on a yard and whose normal position is in a fore-and-aft direction
    the lowest sail on the foremast of a square-rigged vessel
    any sail set forward of the foremast of a vessel
    the lowermost sail on the mainmast
    a topsail set on the mainmast
    press of canvas, press of sail
    the greatest amount of sail that a ship can carry safely
    a sail set next above the topgallant on a royal mast
    a sail set to catch wind spilled from a larger sail
    the sail above the royal on a square-rigger
    square sail
    a four-sided sail set beneath a horizontal yard suspended at the middle from a mast
    topgallant, topgallant sail
    a sail set on a yard of a topgallant mast
    a sail (or either of a pair of sails) immediately above the lowermost sail of a mast and supported by a topmast
    the topsail on a foremast
    gaff-headed sail, gaffsail
    a quadrilateral fore-and-aft sail suspended from a gaff
    fore-and-aft topsail, gaff topsail
    a triangular fore-and-aft sail with its foot along the gaff and its luff on the topmast
    any triangular fore-and-aft sail (set forward of the foremast)
    lateen, lateen sail
    a triangular fore-and-aft sail used especially in the Mediterranean
    lug, lugsail
    a sail with four corners that is hoisted from a yard that is oblique to the mast
    main course
    a square mainsail
    mizen, mizzen
    fore-and-aft sail set on the mizzenmast
    a fore-and-aft sail set on the aftermost lower mast (usually the mizzenmast) of a vessel
    a large and usually triangular headsail; carried by a yacht as a headsail when running before the wind
    a fore-and-aft sail extended by a sprit
    a fore-and-aft sail set on a stay (as between two masts)
    type of:
    piece of cloth, piece of material
    a separate part consisting of fabric
  7. noun
    an oil painting on canvas fabric
    synonyms: canvas
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    type of:
    oil painting
    a picture painted with oil paints
  8. noun
    a tent made of canvas fabric
    synonyms: canvas, canvas tent
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    big top, circus tent, round top, top
    a canvas tent to house the audience at a circus performance
    field tent
    a canvas tent for use in the field
    Sibley tent
    a light conical canvas tent erected on a tripod with ventilation at the top
    wall tent
    a canvas tent with four vertical walls
    type of:
    collapsible shelter, tent
    a portable shelter (usually of canvas stretched over supporting poles and fastened to the ground with ropes and pegs)
  9. noun
    the mat that forms the floor of the ring in which boxers or professional wrestlers compete
    synonyms: canvas
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    type of:
    gym mat, mat
    sports equipment consisting of a piece of thick padding on the floor for gymnastic sports
  10. noun
    the setting for a narrative or fictional or dramatic account
    synonyms: canvas
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    type of:
    background, scope, setting
    the state of the environment in which a situation exists
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘canvass'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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