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canvas

[kan-vuh s] /ˈkæn vəs/
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.
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.
Idioms
9.
under canvas,
  1. Nautical. with set sails.
  2. in tents; in the field:
    the troops under canvas.
Origin of canvas
1225-1275
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 forms
canvaslike, adjective
Can be confused
canvas, canvass.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for canvases
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is a wonder that irascible painters do not run amuck among their own canvases and their visitors on Show Sunday.

    Lost Leaders Andrew Lang
  • When he had enough money to buy paints and canvases he left me.

    The Moon and Sixpence W. Somerset Maugham
  • Then for a moment he glanced again at his picture, and slowly inspected the other canvases in the gallery.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • But if they fail as stories they are unexceptionable as canvases.

    Views and Reviews William Ernest Henley
  • It is believed that he has by him a number of canvases which will have to be burnt after his death in accordance with his will.

British Dictionary definitions for canvases

canvas

/ˈkænvəs/
noun
1.
  1. a heavy durable cloth made of cotton, hemp, or jute, used for sails, tents, etc
  2. (as modifier): a canvas bag
2.
  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
3.
a tent or tents collectively
4.
(nautical) any cloth of which sails are made
5.
(nautical) the sails of a vessel collectively
6.
any coarse loosely woven cloth on which embroidery, tapestry, etc, is done
7.
the canvas, the floor of a boxing or wrestling ring
8.
(rowing) the tapering covered part at either end of a racing boat, sometimes referred to as a unit of length: to win by a canvas
9.
under canvas
  1. in tents
  2. (nautical) with sails unfurled
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
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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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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13
16
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