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blank canvas

A person or thing that has nothing of substance or permanence within or imprinted upon him, her, or it, such that it can be easily filled with entirely new things. Refers to a painter's canvas that has yet to be painted on. Children's minds are blank canvasses, so we have to be sure to provide them with enriching education and opportunities so as to give them the best possible future. I love moving into a new house and having a blank canvas to make my own! These freshmen are all blank canvasses—we can get them to believe anything we tell them!
See also: blank, canvas

by a canvas

by a small margin.
The tapered front end of a racing boat was formerly covered with canvas to prevent water being taken on board. In this context, to win by a canvas meant to win by the length between the tip of the bow and the first oarsman.
See also: canvas

under canvas

1. Nautical With sails spread.
2. In a tent or tents.
See also: canvas
References in classic literature ?
If such a miracle had been wrought, however, no traces of it remained behind, for within the antique frame nothing could be discerned save the impenetrable cloud, which had covered the canvas since the memory of man.
Nioche at last took his daughter's paint-box in one hand and the bedaubed canvas, after giving it a solemn, puzzled stare, in the other, and led the way to the door.
I slipped on what clothes I could find about - some of my own, and some of George's and Harris's - and crept under the canvas on to the bank.
He held back the canvas, and the two women appeared.
At the moment when he kissed it the canvas screen was again drawn aside.
A few minutes afterward, roused by a heavy blast of wind and rain on the canvas, she heard Billy softly groaning.
A terrific blast of wind parted several of the guys, collapsed the framework, and for a moment buried them under the canvas.
The friendly breeze freshened again next day, and on we went once more before it gallantly: descrying now and then an English ship going homeward under shortened sail, while we, with every inch of canvas crowded on, dashed gaily past, and left her far behind.
5 million canvas art prints consists primarily of high definition photography and digital art images.
An iconic canvas of a city view (100 x 40cm), pounds 25, Graham & Brown
This caused the bottom of the canvas itself to receive horizontally the red drips from Twombly's overflowing brush, which collected in pools over a tan "margin.
But there was his master inching his wheelchair onto the canvas, and Weaver wasn't about to be left behind.
Buildings/structures, construction management, site/facility design, tents, tipis, canvas products
Place the templates on the canvas, sligning straight edges with canvas grid where possible.
Instead, Canvas allows authorized users to see, share and collaborate across the enterprise no matter where they are located.