canvas

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English canevas, from Anglo-Norman, from Old Northern French canevas (compare Old French chanevas, chenevas) from a root derived from Latin cannabis, from Ancient Greek κάνναβις (kánnabis). Compare French canevas, resulting from a blend of the Old French and a Picard dialect word, itself from Old Northern French. Doublet of cannabis and hemp.

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. (painting)
    1. A piece of canvas cloth stretched across a frame on which one may paint.
    2. A painting, or a picture on canvas.
  3. A mesh of loosely woven cotton strands or molded plastic to be decorated with needlepoint, cross-stitch, rug hooking, or other crafts.
  4. (figuratively) A basis for creative work.
    The author takes rural midwestern life as a canvas for a series of tightly woven character studies
  5. (computer graphics) A region on which graphics can be rendered.
  6. (nautical) Sails in general.
    • 1785 August, Benjamin Franklin, “On Improvements in Navigation”, in Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Benjamin Franklin, [], volume III, London: [] [Abraham John Valpy] for Henry Colburn, [], published 1818, OCLC 873869756, part IV (Philosophical Subjects), page 525:
      The double desire of being able to overtake a weaker flying enemy, or to escape when pursued by a stronger, has induced the owners to overmast their cruisers, and to spread too much canvass; and the great number of men, many of them not seamen, who being upon deck when a ship heels suddenly are huddled down to leeward, and increase by their weight the effect of the wind.
  7. A tent.
    He spent the night under canvas.
  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.
  9. (Nigeria) Athletic shoes.
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.

Alternative forms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

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

  1. (transitive) To cover (an area or object) with canvas.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

A variant of canvass.

Verb[edit]

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

  1. Obsolete spelling of canvass [16th–18th c.]

Noun[edit]

canvas (plural canvases)

  1. Obsolete spelling of canvass [17th–18th c.]
    • 1611, Joseph Hall, “Epistle IIII. To My Lady Honoria Hay. Discoursing of the Necessity of Baptisme; and the Estate of Those which Necessarily Want It.”, in Epistles [], volume III, London: [] [William Stansby and William Jaggard] for Samuell Macham, [], OCLC 932757396, 5th decade, pages 54–55:
      [] I haue learned this faſhion of St. Hierome the Oracle of Antiquitie, vvho vvas vvont to entertaine his Paula, and Euſtochium, Marcella, Principia, Hedibia, and other deuout Ladies, vvith learned canuaſes of the deep pointes of Diuinity.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], “Concupiscible Appetite, as Desires, Ambitions, Causes”, in The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970, partition 1, section 2, member 3, subsection 11, page 100:
      It is a wonder to ſee how ſlauiſhly theſe kinde of [ambitious] men will ſubiect themſelues, vvhen they are about a canvas, to euery inferiour perſon, vvhat paines they vvill take, runne, ride, caſt, plot & countermine, proteſt & ſvveare, vow, promiſe, vvhat labours vndergoe, earely vp, dovvne late; []
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], “Against Repulse, Abuses, Iniuries, Contempts, Disgraces, Contumelies, Slanders, Scoffes, &c.”, in The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970, partition 2, section 3, member 7, page 287:
      But vvhy ſhouldſt thou take thy Canvas ſo to heart? It may bee thou art not fit. But as a childe that vveares his fathers ſhooes, hat, headpeece, breſtplate, or breeches; or holds his ſpeare, but is nether able to vveild the one, or vveare the other; ſo vvouldſt thou doe by ſuch an office or Magiſtracy, thou art vnfit.
    • 1626 (first performance; published 1652), James Shirley, “The Brothers”, in William Gifford and Alexander Dyce, editors, The Dramatic Works and Poems of James Shirley, [], volume I, London: John Murray, [], published 1833, OCLC 1001873553, Act I, scene i, page 206:
      And now I'll tell thee, I have promis'd him / As much as marriage comes to, and I lose / My honour, if my don receive the canvas.
    • 1790 November, Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, and on the Proceedings in Certain Societies in London Relative to that Event. [], London: [] J[ames] Dodsley, [], OCLC 946162345, page 219:
      I know well enough that the biſhoprics and cures, under kingly and ſeignoral patronage, as now they are in England, and as they have been lately in France, are ſometimes acquired by unworthy methods; but the other mode of eccleſiaſtical canvas ſubjects them infinitely more ſurely and more generally to all the evil arts of low ambition, which, operating on and through greater numbers, will produce miſchief in proportion.

Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle Dutch canevas, from Old Northern French canevas, from Latin cannabis, from Ancient Greek κάνναβις (kánnabis). The spelling was lated influenced by English canvas.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈkɑn.vɑs/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: can‧vas

Noun[edit]

canvas n (plural canvassen)

  1. canvas, sail
    Synonym: zeildoek
  2. canvas, fabric used for painting
    Synonym: schilderdoek

Related terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Indonesian: kampas
  • Indonesian: kanvas

Portuguese[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English canvas. Doublet of cânhamo, cânave, cânabis, and canábis.

Pronunciation[edit]

 

Noun[edit]

canvas m (invariable)

  1. (graphical user interface) canvas (area on which graphics are rendered)
  2. (business) business model canvas

Spanish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈkambas/ [ˈkãm.bas]
  • Rhymes: -ambas
  • Hyphenation: can‧vas

Noun[edit]

canvas m

  1. canvas