canvassing


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

canvassing

making personal representation to individual persons to solicit their custom. Usually used in a political sense but also used in the sense of touting for professional patronage, considered to be an unethical practice in most countries.
References in classic literature ?
I am a School lady, I am a Visiting lady, I am a Reading lady, I am a Distributing lady; I am on the local Linen Box Committee and many general committees; and my canvassing alone is very extensive--perhaps no one's more so.
Brooke on this occasion abstained from boasting of his tactics to Ladislaw, who for his part was glad enough to persuade himself that he had no concern with any canvassing except the purely argumentative sort, and that he worked no meaner engine than knowledge.
On one occasion he actually fired his revolver at a wooden-legged man, who proved to be a harmless tradesman canvassing for orders.