What does canvas mean?

Definitions for canvas
ˈkæn vəscan·vas

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word canvas.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. canvas, canvassnoun

    a heavy, closely woven fabric (used for clothing or chairs or sails or tents)

  2. canvas, canvassnoun

    an oil painting on canvas fabric

  3. canvas, canvassnoun

    the setting for a narrative or fictional or dramatic account

    "the crowded canvas of history"; "the movie demanded a dramatic canvas of sound"

  4. canvas tent, canvas, canvassnoun

    a tent made of canvas fabric

  5. sail, canvas, canvass, sheetnoun

    a large piece of fabric (usually canvas fabric) by means of which wind is used to propel a sailing vessel

  6. canvas, canvassverb

    the mat that forms the floor of the ring in which boxers or professional wrestlers compete

    "the boxer picked himself up off the canvas"

  7. canvass, canvasverb

    solicit votes from potential voters in an electoral campaign

  8. poll, canvass, canvasverb

    get the opinions (of people) by asking specific questions

  9. canvasverb

    cover with canvas

    "She canvassed the walls of her living room so as to conceal the ugly cracks"

  10. analyze, analyse, study, examine, canvass, canvasverb

    consider in detail and subject to an analysis in order to discover essential features or meaning

    "analyze a sonnet by Shakespeare"; "analyze the evidence in a criminal trial"; "analyze your real motives"


  1. canvasnoun

    A piece of canvas cloth stretched across a frame on which one may paint.

  2. canvasnoun

    A basis for creative work.

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

  3. canvasnoun

    sails in general

  4. canvasnoun

    A tent.

    He spent the night under canvas.

  5. canvasverb

    To cover an area or object with canvas.

  6. Etymology: * canevas, from cannabis.


  1. Canvas

    Canvas is an extremely durable plain-woven fabric used for making sails, tents, marquees, backpacks, shelters, as a support for oil painting and for other items for which sturdiness is required, as well as in such fashion objects as handbags, electronic device cases, and shoes. It is popularly used by artists as a painting surface, typically stretched across a wooden frame. Modern canvas is usually made of cotton or linen, or sometimes polyvinyl chloride (PVC), although historically it was made from hemp. It differs from other heavy cotton fabrics, such as denim, in being plain weave rather than twill weave. Canvas comes in two basic types: plain and duck. The threads in duck canvas are more tightly woven. The term duck comes from the Dutch word for cloth, doek. In the United States, canvas is classified in two ways: by weight (ounces per square yard) and by a graded number system. The numbers run in reverse of the weight so a number 10 canvas is lighter than number 4. The word "canvas" is derived from the 13th century Anglo-French canevaz and the Old French canevas. Both may be derivatives of the Vulgar Latin cannapaceus for "made of hemp", originating from the Greek κάνναβις (cannabis).


  1. canvas

    Canvas is a strong, durable, tightly-woven fabric often made of cotton, linen, or a synthetic blend, traditionally used as a surface for painting. It can also refer to a digital platform or area onto which images, drawings, or designs can be made in graphic design or other artistic applications. In a broader sense, it can also refer to the general background or setting against which events occur.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Canvasnoun

    a strong cloth made of hemp, flax, or cotton; -- used for tents, sails, etc

  2. Canvasnoun

    a coarse cloth so woven as to form regular meshes for working with the needle, as in tapestry, or worsted work

  3. Canvasnoun

    a piece of strong cloth of which the surface has been prepared to receive painting, commonly painting in oil

  4. Canvasnoun

    something for which canvas is used: (a) A sail, or a collection of sails. (b) A tent, or a collection of tents. (c) A painting, or a picture on canvas

  5. Canvasnoun

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

  6. Canvasadjective

    made of, pertaining to, or resembling, canvas or coarse cloth; as, a canvas tent

  7. Etymology: [OE. canvas, canevas, F. canevas, LL. canabacius hempen cloth, canvas, L. cannabis hemp, fr. G. . See Hemp.]


  1. Canvas

    Canvas is an extremely heavy-duty plain-woven fabric used for making sails, tents, marquees, backpacks, and other items for which sturdiness is required. It is also popularly used by artists as a painting surface, typically stretched across a wooden frame. It is also used in such fashion objects as handbags, electronic device cases and shoes.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Canvas

    kan′vas, n. a coarse cloth made of hemp, used for sails, tents, &c., and for painting on: the sails of a ship.—v.t. to cover with canvas.—ns. Can′vas-back, a North American duck, very good eating, its back ashy white, crossed by broken, zigzag, dark lines; Can′vas-climb′er (Shak.), a sailor; Can′vas-stretch′er, a wooden frame on which canvas is stretched for oil-painting; Can′vas-work, embroidery upon cloth over which canvas has been laid to guide the stitches: an embroidery in Berlin wool on silk canvas with plush-stitch.—Under canvas, having the sails unfurled, under sail: living in tents. [O. Fr. canevas—L. and Gr. cannabis, hemp.]


  1. Canvas

    Canvas subscribers will be able to use their mobile devices to collect data in a simple form or survey fashion but will do so in a manner in which takes full advantage of the unique data collection capabilities that are available on today’s modern handsets. Canvas solutions are delivered in a simple subscription service that brings Web 2.0 features and wireless technology together allowing users to define and deploy forms and surveys to mobile devices, collect data, review the results and integrate to their own systems. By providing a generic tool that can be tailored to any need, Canvas can be used by any non-software developer to allow users to go wireless, go green, go Canvas in minutes. Canvas realizes that the unique features of today’s handsets can allow new data types to be captured. These include image, video and voice capture, GPS/Location Based Data, barcode scanning and time date stamps. When combined with the common data forms or surveys that users have mobilized, a new range of analysis and insight is now possible. All of this for less than the cost of the paper it is replacing…..

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. canvas

    [from cannabis, hemp]. A cloth made of hemp, and used for the sails of ships. It is purchased in bolts, and numbered from 1 to 8, rarely to 9 and 10. Number 1 being the coarsest and strongest, is used for the lower sails, as fore-sail and main-sail in large ships. When a vessel is in motion by means of her sails she is said to be under canvas.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. canvas

    A coarse hempen or linen cloth which is extensively used in the form of tents, etc.

Editors Contribution

  1. canvas

    A type of fabric or material.

    Canvas has various uses, bags, shoes, tents, construction sheets etc.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 22, 2015  

Suggested Resources

  1. canvas

    Song lyrics by canvas -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by canvas on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'canvas' in Nouns Frequency: #2436

How to pronounce canvas?

How to say canvas in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of canvas in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of canvas in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of canvas in a Sentence

  1. Charles Hamm:

    You would never burn a Picasso or any piece of art you invested in and had a passion for, your tattoo is also art with a unique story, just on a different canvas.

  2. Ramana Pemmaraju:

    I love women more on canvas than real life, for they seldom change on canvas!”

  3. Daisy Jacobs:

    The life size technique that I've been doing is as though you're creating a real world, you can walk in the space, the characters are as tall as you are, and there's something about wanting the illustrated world to come out of the canvas and be real, that I really like. You're stepping into your own painting.

  4. Danny Kaye:

    Life is a great big canvas throw all the paint on it you can.

  5. Michael Kimmel:

    Women have changed what it means to be a woman and embrace a much larger human canvas. Men are still painting on half the canvas.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for canvas

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"canvas." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/canvas>.

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    lacking orderly continuity
    • A. hatched
    • B. tight
    • C. aligned
    • D. disjointed

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