Canvas definition

kănvəs
A heavy, coarse, closely woven fabric of cotton, hemp, or flax, traditionally used for tents and sails.
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(nautical) A sail or set of sails.
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A fabric of coarse open weave, used as a foundation for needlework.
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A piece of such fabric on which a painting, especially an oil painting, is executed.
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The definition of a canvas is a surface you paint on that is often made from tightly stretched unbleached cloth or a closely woven fabric that is often used to make boat sail, purses and upholstery.

An example of a canvas is a surface on which you do an oil painting.

An example of a canvas is an oil painting that has been completed.

An example of canvas is a material from which a purse is made.

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(sports) The floor of a ring in which boxing or wrestling takes place.
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A painting executed on such fabric.
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A tent or group of tents.
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A circus tent.
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A sail or set of sails.
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A tent or group of tents, as of a circus.
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Any coarse cloth of open mesh weave on which embroidery or tapestry is done.
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A specially prepared piece of canvas on which an oil painting is made.
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Such a painting.
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(1) A major feature of HTML5. See canvas element.
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A type of coarse cloth, woven from hemp, useful for making sails and tents or as a surface for paintings.
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A piece of canvas cloth stretched across a frame on which one may paint.
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A basis for creative work.

The author takes rural midwestern life as a canvas for a series of tightly woven character studies.

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(computer graphics) A region on which graphics can be rendered.
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(nautical) Sails in general.
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A tent.

He spent the night under canvas.

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A painting, or a picture on canvas.

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A rough draft or model of a song, air, or other literary or musical composition; especially one to show a poet the measure of the verses he is to make.

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Alternative spelling of canvass.
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To cover an area or object with canvas.
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Alternative spelling of canvass.
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The background against which events unfold, as in a historical narrative.

A grim portrait of despair against the bright canvas of the postwar economy.

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A closely woven, coarse cloth of hemp, cotton, or linen, often unbleached, used for tents, sails, etc.
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under canvas
  • With sails spread.
  • In a tent or tents.
idiom
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the canvas
  • the canvas-covered floor of a boxing ring
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under canvas
  • in tents
  • with sails unfurled
  • by means of sails
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
canvas
Plural:
canvasses

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of canvas

  • Middle English canevas from Old French and from Medieval Latin canavāsium both ultimately from Latin cannabis hemp cannabis

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Anglo-Norman, from Old Northern French canevas (compare Old French chanevas, chenevas) from a root ultimately derived from Latin cannabis, possibly a Vulgar Latin *cannabāceus or *cannapāceus. Cf. French canevas, resulting from a blend of the Old French and a Picard dialect word, itself from Old Northern French.

    From Wiktionary