Definitions, Meanings, Synonyms and Antonyms of “canvas”


Canvas is a heavy, coarse fabric artists paint on. It’s also used to make sails, shoes, tents, or comfy director’s chairs. It’s a full-service fabric!


The noun canvas comes from the Latin cannabis by way of the Greek kannabis, meaning “hemp,” which it was originally made of. It usually refers to the canvas we paint on, but you could carry a canvas bag while wearing canvas Converse high-tops. Henry David Thoreau, the poet and philosopher, said, “The world is but a canvas to our imaginations.” Don’t confuse it with canvass, with the extra “s” — that’s when people try to chat to get your vote.

Primary Meanings of canvas

a heavy, closely woven fabric (used for clothing or chairs or sails or tents)
cover with canvas
consider in detail and subject to an analysis in order to discover essential features or meaning
Full Definitions of canvas


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

tarp, tarpaulin

waterproofed canvas
Type of:
cloth, fabric, material, textile

artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers

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

canvass, sail, sheet
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balloon sail

any light loose sail
crossjack, mizzen course

the lowermost sail on a mizzenmast
fore-and-aft sail

any sail not set on a yard and whose normal position is in a fore-and-aft direction

the lowest sail on the foremast of a square-rigged vessel

any sail set forward of the foremast of a vessel

the lowermost sail on the mainmast

a topsail set on the mainmast
press of canvas, press of sail

the greatest amount of sail that a ship can carry safely

a sail set next above the topgallant on a royal mast

a sail set to catch wind spilled from a larger sail

the sail above the royal on a square-rigger
square sail

a four-sided sail set beneath a horizontal yard suspended at the middle from a mast
topgallant, topgallant sail

a sail set on a yard of a topgallant mast

a sail (or either of a pair of sails) immediately above the lowermost sail of a mast and supported by a topmast

the topsail on a foremast
gaff-headed sail, gaffsail

a quadrilateral fore-and-aft sail suspended from a gaff
fore-and-aft topsail, gaff topsail

a triangular fore-and-aft sail with its foot along the gaff and its luff on the topmast

any triangular fore-and-aft sail (set forward of the foremast)
lateen, lateen sail

a triangular fore-and-aft sail used especially in the Mediterranean
lug, lugsail

a sail with four corners that is hoisted from a yard that is oblique to the mast
main course

a square mainsail
mizen, mizzen

fore-and-aft sail set on the mizzenmast

a fore-and-aft sail set on the aftermost lower mast (usually the mizzenmast) of a vessel

a large and usually triangular headsail; carried by a yacht as a headsail when running before the wind

a fore-and-aft sail extended by a sprit

a fore-and-aft sail set on a stay (as between two masts)
Type of:
piece of cloth, piece of material

a separate part consisting of fabric

n an oil painting on canvas fabric

Type of:
oil painting

a picture painted with oil paints

n the setting for a narrative or fictional or dramatic account

“the crowded canvas of history”
“the movie demanded a dramatic canvas of sound”
Type of:
background, scope, setting

the state of the environment in which a situation exists

n a tent made of canvas fabric

canvas tent, canvass
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big top, circus tent, round top, top

a canvas tent to house the audience at a circus performance
field tent

a canvas tent for use in the field
Sibley tent

a light conical canvas tent erected on a tripod with ventilation at the top
wall tent

a canvas tent with four vertical walls
Type of:
collapsible shelter, tent

a portable shelter (usually of canvas stretched over supporting poles and fastened to the ground with ropes and pegs)

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

“the boxer picked himself up off the canvas
Type of:
gym mat, mat

sports equipment consisting of a piece of thick padding on the floor for gymnastic sports

v cover with canvas

Type of:

provide with a covering or cause to be covered


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

analyse, analyze, canvass, examine, study
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analyze down to the smallest detail
diagnose, name

determine or distinguish the nature of a problem or an illness through a diagnostic analysis

subject to a medical analysis
appraise, survey

consider in a comprehensive way

make a survey of; for statistical purposes

examine and note the similarities or differences of
check, check into, check out, check over, check up on, go over, look into, suss out

examine so as to determine accuracy, quality, or condition

analyze (chemical substances)
reexamine, review

look at again; examine again
audit, inspect, scrutinise, scrutinize

examine carefully for accuracy with the intent of verification

examine methodically
follow, trace

follow, discover, or ascertain the course of development of something
investigate, look into

investigate scientifically
sieve, sift

check and sort carefully
consider, look at, view

look at carefully; study mentally

examine (organs) for diagnostic purposes

examine minutely
explore, research, search

inquire into

travel to or penetrate into
analogise, analogize

make an analogy

compare critically; of texts

subject to a bio-assay
examine, probe

question or examine thoroughly and closely

attempt to find out in a systematically and scientific manner

look at thoughtfully; observe deep in thought

look or stare at longingly
canvass, poll

get the opinions (of people) by asking specific questions
follow, keep an eye on, observe, watch, watch over

follow with the eyes or the mind

to conduct a test or investigation

v get the opinions (of people) by asking specific questions

canvass, poll
circularise, circularize

canvass by distributing letters
Type of:

make a survey of; for statistical purposes

v solicit votes from potential voters in an electoral campaign


canvass by using a questionnaire
Type of:
beg, solicit, tap

make a solicitation or entreaty for something; request urgently or persistently


“canvas” Sentence Examples

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When you first started learning English, you may have memorized lists of words like: canvas.

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Definition of “canvas” in Dictionaries

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