Confused Words | Canvas and Canvass

The confusion

question mark

The words canvas and canvass can be confusing. They have almost the same form and are pronounced similarly although they have completely different meanings. Canvas is a type of cloth whereas canvass means to seek votes.

Canvas or Canvass?


The word canvas is a noun. It refers to a type of coarse cloth useful for making sails and tents or as a surface for paintings.


  • I bought a canvas handbag.
  • His paintings are oil on canvas.

The term canvas may also refer to the following:

  • A painting as in "they sold all his late canvases."
  • A basis for creative work as in "the writer takes the poor areas of the city a canvas for his sociological studies."
  • A region on which graphics can be rendered on a computer.
  • Sails of a ship.
  • A tent.


The word canvass can be a noun and a verb.

A. As a noun, it refers to a solicitation of voters or public opinion.

B. As a verb it means:

1. To solicit voters, opinions, etc. from

2. To conduct a survey.

3. To campaign.


  • to canvass a city for votes

A list of confused words