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canvass

Syllabification: can·vass
Pronunciation: /ˈkanvəs
 
/

Definition of canvass in English:

verb

1 [with object] Solicit votes from (electors in a constituency): in each ward, two workers canvassed some 2,000 voters [no object]: she canvassed for votes
More example sentences
  • He said that probable candidates were obviously canvassing for votes from affiliates.
  • The move is to ensure that every member standing for re-election knows how to respond if they are quizzed by residents, while out canvassing for votes during the upcoming June elections.
  • Mr Smith said he picked up more than 20 complaints of thefts, vandalism, assault and criminal damage while he was out canvassing for votes before the recent elections.
Synonyms
1.1Question (someone) in order to ascertain their opinion on something: they promised to canvass all member clubs for their views
More example sentences
  • Nor have any residents been canvassed for their opinion.
  • After the body was found, teams of gardaí returned to canvass those people in the area around where Robert disappeared.
  • The conference is also an opportunity to canvass young people's views on the council's new ‘Change for Children’ that will aim to give young people more of a say in the services they receive.
Synonyms
1.2Try to obtain; request: they’re canvassing support among shareholders
More example sentences
  • OM's bid will expire at the end of October and in the interim period the management are expected to visit Ireland and Britain to canvass shareholders for their support.
  • When she returns to work at Kingston's John Lewis department store on Monday when her maternity leave ends, she intends to canvass the support of her colleagues in the staff magazine.
  • He did not canvass any support but he hoped it would be carried and circulated to every other local authority in the country.
Synonyms
seek, try to obtain
2 [with object] Discuss thoroughly: the issues that were canvassed are still unresolved
More example sentences
  • I expect that many people will make submissions to the committee, and this will enable the matters addressed in the bill to be thoroughly canvassed.
  • The review has already commenced, and we in New Zealand First prefer to see this issue more thoroughly and clearly canvassed in the review.
  • These issues are thoroughly canvassed in the Research Agenda and Background Report.

noun

[usually in singular] Back to top  
An act or process of attempting to secure votes or ascertain opinions: a house-to-house canvass
More example sentences
  • At election times on the canvass, her warmth and good nature struck a chord with most who met her.
  • Several local issues were discussed including the long awaited sewage scheme which had been promised by Fianna Fail on their canvass before the last General Election.
  • Many people have raised the ban on smoking in public houses with me during my election canvass.

Origin

early 16th century (in the sense 'toss in a canvas sheet' (as a sport or punishment)): from canvas. Later extended senses include 'criticize, discuss' (mid 16th century) and 'propose for discussion'; hence 'seek support for'.

Derivatives

canvasser

1
noun
Example sentences
  • IT'S a pleasant if slightly cold morning in Stradbally and Deputy Charles Flanagan and his team of canvassers are out looking for votes for D-Day, May 17.
  • But as the election campaign gains momentum, young Sinn Fein canvassers will be pounding the beat in Northern Ireland, exuding their customary dynamism.
  • The Guardian has seen a transcript of a telephone conference call involving the head of the alliance in which the participants discuss how the new group would send thousands of canvassers into marginal seats.

Definition of canvass in:

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