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CANVASS, verb transitive

1. To discuss; literally, to beat or shake out, to open by beating or shaking, like the Latin Discutio. This is the common use of the word, as to canvass a subject, or the policy of a measure.

2. To examine returns of votes; to search or scrutinize; as, to canvass the votes for senators.

CANVASS, verb intransitive

1. To seek or go about to solicit votes or interest; to use efforts to obtain; to make interest in favor of; followed by for; as, to canvass for an office, or preferment; to canvass for a friend.


1. Examination; close inspection to know the state of; as a canvass of votes.

2. Discussion; debate

3. A seeking, solicitation, or efforts to obtain.