Blank Check

Meaning of Idiom ‘Blank Check’

To give someone a blank check means to give them full freedom or unlimited scope and authority to act as they see fit, especially in regards to the spending of money. This idiom is a less formal version of carte blanche.

Examples Of Use

“You can run your department the way you see fit but I’m not going to give you a blank check on budget issues.”

“You’ve got a blank check, so do what you need to do to get the job done.”

“I like what he’s doing with the company, but I’m not going to give him a blank check yet.”

blank check idiom meaning

Origin

This idiom alludes metaphorically to an actual blank check, which is a bank check signed by the account holder but which does not have an amount written on it. The person given the check is allowed to write any amount desired. It has been used figuratively since the late 1800’s. The French idiom carte blanche, meaning “a blank card,” holds much the same meaning.

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