Canvas and Canvass
The Quick AnswerWhat is the difference between canvas and canvass?
Canvas is heavy cloth.
To canvass means to survey opinion or to solicit votes.
Canvas and CanvassThe words canvas and canvass sound identical, but their meanings are very different.
CanvasThe noun canvas (with one s at the end) refers to a heavy woven cloth of hemp, flax, or cotton. It is typically used for sails, tents and paintings. The word canvas is also used figuratively for the floor of a boxing or wrestling ring (i.e., they are often not made of canvas).
CanvassThe verb to canvass has several closely related meanings. It can mean:
To collect opinions.
- Can you canvass the local area to determine the support for the bypass?
- Mr Millar will arrange for Joan's team to canvass High Street and Bond Street on Saturday. We need as much support from the west side of town as possible.
- Penny canvassed every shop in Wigan before she found the right shoes.
- The investigation team will canvass the neighborhood to see whether there were any witnesses to the crash.
Canvass Used as a NounNowadays, canvass is used as a noun to denote the processes above. For example:
- Did your canvass of the local area succeed in determining the support for the bypass?
- I heard Joan's canvass was postponed due to the storm.