[kan-vuh s-bak]

noun, plural can·vas·backs, (especially collectively) can·vas·back.

a North American wild duck, Aythya valisineria, the male of which has a whitish back and a reddish-brown head and neck.

Nearby words

  1. canulate,
  2. canute,
  3. canvas,
  4. canvas duck,
  5. canvas-back,
  6. canvass,
  7. canyon,
  8. canyon de chelly,
  9. canyon wind,
  10. canyoning

Origin of canvasback

An Americanism dating back to 1595–1605; after the canvaslike color of its back Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for canvas-back

British Dictionary definitions for canvas-back


noun plural -backs or -back

a North American diving duck, Aythyra valisineria, the male of which has a white body and reddish-brown head
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for canvas-back



also canvasback, 1785 as a type of North American duck. Earlier as an adjective for a type of garment made of expensive stuff in front and cheap canvas in the back (c.1600); from canvas (n.) + back (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper