carte blanche









carte blanche


< /ˈkɑrts ˈblæntʃ, ˈblɑntʃ; French kart ˈblɑ̃ʃ/.

  1. unconditional authority; full discretionary power: The government appears to have given the military carte blanche in Afghanistan. She was given carte blanche to decorate her room as she wished, perhaps an unwise decision on the part of her parents.
  2. Cards. a hand having no face card but with a special scoring value, as in piquet.

noun plural cartes blanches (ˈkɑːts ˈblɑːntʃ, French kart blɑ̃ʃ)

  1. complete discretion or authoritythe government gave their negotiator carte blanche
  2. cards a piquet hand containing no court cards: scoring ten points
n.

1707, blank paper, French, literally “white paper” (see card (n.) + blank (adj.)); figurative sense of “full discretionary power” is from 1766.

To be given “carte blanche” is to receive the power and authority to do as one wishes: “The prime minister herself did not take any action on the refugee issue but gave her minister of the interior carte blanche to deal with the situation.” Carte blanche is French for “blank card,” meaning one that can be filled in as a person wishes.

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