Carte Blanche

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DEFINITION of 'Carte Blanche'

A French term meaning "blank document." Carte blanche is commonly used in English to refer to a check that has been signed but does not have a dollar amount written in. The recipient of such a check then writes in whatever dollar amount he or she wants/needs.

BREAKING DOWN 'Carte Blanche'

The term carte blanche is more commonly used figuratively than literally. It usually means someone in power has given someone else the unconditional authority to spend money in a given situation and/or make decisions about that situation. This term is commonly used in politics and business. Carte blanche arrangements are often a bad idea because of their high potential for abuse.

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