Etymology
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canvass (v.)

c. 1500, "toss in a canvas sheet," from alternative spelling of canvas (n.). From "toss in a canvas sheet for the purpose of sifting" the meaning was extended figuratively to "shake out, examine carefully" (1520s). From thence (though the sense-leap is less clear) to "solicit votes or test support before an election" (1550s). Compare Old French canabasser "to examine carefully," literally "to sift through canvas." The spelling with a double -s- dates from 16c. and is useful to distinguish it from the other word. Related: Canvassed; canvassing. As a noun, "a soliciting of votes or testing of support," from c. 1610s.

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Definitions of canvass
1
canvass (n.)
an inquiry into public opinion conducted by interviewing a random sample of people;
Synonyms: poll / opinion poll / public opinion poll
canvass (n.)
a heavy, closely woven fabric (used for clothing or chairs or sails or tents);
Synonyms: canvas
canvass (n.)
an oil painting on canvas fabric;
Synonyms: canvas
canvass (n.)
the setting for a narrative or fictional or dramatic account;
Synonyms: canvas
canvass (n.)
a tent made of canvas fabric;
Synonyms: canvas tent / canvas
canvass (n.)
a large piece of fabric (usually canvas fabric) by means of which wind is used to propel a sailing vessel;
Synonyms: sail / canvas / sheet
canvass (n.)
the mat that forms the floor of the ring in which boxers or professional wrestlers compete;
Synonyms: canvas
2
canvass (v.)
get the opinions (of people) by asking specific questions;
Synonyms: poll
canvass (v.)
solicit votes from potential voters in an electoral campaign;
canvass (v.)
consider in detail and subject to an analysis in order to discover essential features or meaning;
Synonyms: analyze / analyse / study / examine
From wordnet.princeton.edu