canvas

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

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. Compare French canevas, resulting from a blend of the Old French and a Picard dialect word, itself from Old Northern French.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

canvas (plural canvasses or canvases) (see usage notes)

  1. A type of coarse cloth, woven from hemp, useful for making sails and tents or as a surface for paintings.
    • 1882, James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, Volume 4, p. 556.
      The term canvas is very widely used, as well to denote the coarse fabrics employed for kitchen use, as for strainers, and wraps for meat, as for the best quality of ordinary table and shirting linen. \
  2. A piece of canvas cloth stretched across a frame on which one may paint.
  3. A basis for creative work.
    The author takes rural midwestern life as a canvas for a series of tightly woven character studies.
  4. (computer graphics) A region on which graphics can be rendered.
  5. (nautical) sails in general
  6. A tent.
    He spent the night under canvas.
  7. A painting, or a picture on canvas.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Goldsmith to this entry?)
    • Macaulay
      Light, rich as that which glows on the canvas of Claude.
  8. 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.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Grabb to this entry?)
  9. Alternative spelling of canvass.

Usage notes[edit]

The plural canvases is used primarily in the US, while the plural canvasses is used in the UK and most UK-influenced areas.

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb[edit]

canvas (third-person singular simple present canvases, present participle canvasing, simple past and past participle canvased)

  1. To cover an area or object with canvas.
  2. Alternative spelling of canvass.

Translations[edit]