Definition of canvass verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    canvass

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈkænvəs//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkænvəs//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they canvass
    BrE BrE//ˈkænvəs//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkænvəs//
     
    he / she / it canvasses
    BrE BrE//ˈkænvəsɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkænvəsɪz//
     
    past simple canvassed
    BrE BrE//ˈkænvəst//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkænvəst//
     
    past participle canvassed
    BrE BrE//ˈkænvəst//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkænvəst//
     
    -ing form canvassing
    BrE BrE//ˈkænvəsɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkænvəsɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to ask somebody to support a particular person, political party, etc., especially by going around an area and talking to people canvass (for something) He spent the whole month canvassing for votes. canvass somebody (for something) Party workers are busy canvassing local residents.
  2. 2[transitive] to ask people about something in order to find out what they think about it canvass something He has been canvassing opinion on the issue. canvass somebody People are being canvassed for their views on the proposed new road.
  3. 3[transitive] canvass support to try and get support from a group of people synonym drum somethingup
  4. 4[transitive] canvass something to discuss an idea thoroughly The proposal is currently being canvassed.
  5. Word Origin early 16th cent. (‘toss in a canvas sheet’ (in the sense as a sport or punishment)): from canvas. Later extended senses include ‘criticize, discuss’ (mid 16th cent.) and ‘propose for discussion’; hence ‘seek support for’.

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