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canvass (verb) ask for support, votes, etc.; ask people of their opinion about something; discuss an issue thoroughly.
Politicians contesting in elections canvass for votes. That is, they go around places, meeting people personally and asking for their support and votes. Going to people and asking them to support a candidate, a political party, or a political issue, is to canvass support. 'The candidate is busy canvassing for votes.' This means that the candidate is spending most of his time, going to people personally to ask for their votes and support. To ask people of their opinion about an issue, say, whether the tax rates should be reduced or increased, is to canvass for opinion. To discuss something thoroughly is also to canvass. 'His proposal to ban smoking in public places is being canvassed.' This means that the topic of banning public smoking is being discussed.
- The candidate spent the month canvassing for votes. There is not a single county, the voters of which he has not met personally, and whose votes he has not sought.
- Because of the poor performance of the party while it was in power, the party persons, during their canvassing for votes, had to face embarrassing questions about their party's ability to govern.
- The proposal that old age pensions be doubled is being canvassed, and most of the participants in the discussion appear to be favoring it.