Canvas and Canvass

Commonly Confused Words

Painting on canvas
Painting on canvas. Canvass is a verb; canvas is a noun. Rebecca Tabor Armstrong/Moment/Getty Images

The words canvas and canvass are homophones: they sound alike but have different meanings.

The noun canvas refers to a closely woven cloth used for such things as tents, sails, and oil paintings.

The verb canvass means to look over carefully or to solicit votes, orders, or opinions. As a noun, canvass means the act of estimating an outcome or gathering support for a vote.

Examples

  • Ella pressed the knife as hard as she could against the thick canvas of the sail.
  • From morning to night the young candidate for mayor went from door to door to canvass the voters.
  • The campaign included six automobiles loaded with good speakers for a two-day personal canvass.

Practice

(a) The instructor must _____ the students to find a time when most can leave the campus for several hours.

(b) In the middle of the 1500s, Titian began painting on rough _____ rather than on smooth wooden panels.

Answers to Practice Exercises

(a) The instructor must canvass the students to find a time when most can leave the campus for several hours.

(b) In the middle of the 1500s, Titian began painting on rough canvas rather than on smooth wooden panels.

Learn More

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Nordquist, Richard. "Canvas and Canvass." ThoughtCo, Dec. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/canvas-and-canvass-1689332. Nordquist, Richard. (2017, December 3). Canvas and Canvass. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/canvas-and-canvass-1689332 Nordquist, Richard. "Canvas and Canvass." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/canvas-and-canvass-1689332 (accessed May 27, 2018).