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canvas

[kan-vuh s]
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noun
  1. a closely woven, heavy cloth of cotton, hemp, or linen, used for tents, sails, etc.
  2. a piece of this or similar material on which a painting is made.
  3. a painting on canvas.
  4. a tent, or tents collectively.
  5. sailcloth.
  6. sails collectively.
  7. any fabric of linen, cotton, or hemp of a coarse loose weave used as a foundation for embroidery stitches, interlining, etc.
  8. the floor of a boxing ring traditionally consisting of a canvas covering stretched over a mat.
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Trademark.
  1. (initial capital letter) the brand name of an open-source learning management system, launched in 2011.
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Idioms
  1. under canvas,
    1. Nautical.with set sails.
    2. in tents; in the field: the troops under canvas.
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Origin of canvas

1225–75; Middle English canevas < Anglo-French, Old North French < Vulgar Latin *cannabāceus (noun use of adj.), equivalent to Latin cannab(is) hemp + -āceus -aceous
Related formscan·vas·like, adjective
Can be confusedcanvas canvass
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for canvases

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • There were stacks of canvases on the floor and on all the chairs.

    Olive in Italy

    Moray Dalton

  • She insisted that it was part of the bargain that she should supply Cornelia's canvases.

    The Coast of Bohemia

    William Dean Howells

  • When he had enough money to buy paints and canvases he left me.

    The Moon and Sixpence

    W. Somerset Maugham

  • But if they fail as stories they are unexceptionable as canvases.

    Views and Reviews

    William Ernest Henley

  • He impressed himself on his canvases in spite of his so faulty expression.

    Adventures in the Arts

    Marsden Hartley


British Dictionary definitions for canvases

canvas

noun
    1. a heavy durable cloth made of cotton, hemp, or jute, used for sails, tents, etc
    2. (as modifier)a canvas bag
    1. a piece of canvas or a similar material on which a painting is done, usually in oils
    2. a painting on this material, esp in oils
  1. a tent or tents collectively
  2. nautical any cloth of which sails are made
  3. nautical the sails of a vessel collectively
  4. any coarse loosely woven cloth on which embroidery, tapestry, etc, is done
  5. the canvas the floor of a boxing or wrestling ring
  6. rowing the tapering covered part at either end of a racing boat, sometimes referred to as a unit of lengthto win by a canvas
  7. under canvas
    1. in tents
    2. nauticalwith sails unfurled
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Word Origin

C14: from Norman French canevas, ultimately from Latin cannabis hemp
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 canvases

canvas

n.

"sturdy cloth made from hemp or flax," mid-14c., from Anglo-French canevaz, Old North French canevach, Old French chanevaz, literally "made of hemp, hempen," noun use of Vulgar Latin adjective *cannapaceus "made of hemp," from Latin cannabis, from Greek kannabis "hemp," a Scythian or Thracian word (see cannabis).

Latin adjectives in -aceus sometimes were made in Romanic languages into nouns of augmentative or pejorative force. Especially as a surface for oil paintings from c.1700; hence "an oil painting" (1764).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper