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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Can·vass v. t. [imp. & p. p. canvassed p. pr. & vb. n. Canvassing.]
 1. To sift; to strain; to examine thoroughly; to scrutinize; as, to canvass the votes cast at an election; to canvass a district with reference to its probable vote.
    I have made careful search on all hands, and canvassed the matter with all possible diligence.   --Woodward.
 2. To examine by discussion; to debate.
    An opinion that we are likely soon to canvass.   --Sir W. Hamilton.
 3. To go through, with personal solicitation or public addresses; as, to canvass a district for votes; to canvass a city for subscriptions.