Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: GOVERNMENT

Date: 1500-1600
Origin: canvass 'to throw up in the air from a canvas sheet as a game or punishment' (16-17 centuries), from canvas

canvass

verb
     
can‧vass
1 [intransitive and transitive]PGBB to try to persuade people to support a political party, politician, plan etc by going to see them and talking to them, especially when you want them to vote for you in an election:
Candidates from all three parties were out canvassing in Darlington today.
canvass for
Chapman spent the rest of May canvassing for votes.
The US has been canvassing support from other Asian states.
2 [intransitive and transitive] to ask people about something in order to get their opinion or to get information:
Police canvassed the neighborhood, but didn't find any witnesses.
3 [transitive]PGBB to talk about a problem, suggestion etc in detail:
A committee was set up to canvass the city's educational options.
canvasser noun [countable]
canvass noun [countable]
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