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Definition of "canvas" []

  • A heavy, coarse, closely woven fabric of cotton, hemp, or flax, used for tents and sails. (noun)
  • A piece of such fabric on which a painting, especially an oil painting, is executed. (noun)
  • A painting executed on such fabric. (noun)
  • A fabric of coarse open weave, used as a foundation for needlework. (noun)
  • The background against which events unfold, as in a historical narrative: a grim portrait of despair against the bright canvas of the postwar economy. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "canvas" in a sentence
  • "Starting with paintings like this one, the canvas is the whole object, the whole universe, and there is nothing beyond it."
  • "Hemp, or _Cannabis sativa_, from which we possibly derive the modern term canvas, was known to the ancients and used by them for rope and cordage and occasionally for cloth."
  • "The wonderful thing about starting with an almost blank canvas is that every discovery is that much more meaningful and exciting."