Definition of carte blanche in English:

carte blanche


  • 1mass noun Complete freedom to act as one wishes.

    ‘the architect given carte blanche to design the store’
    • ‘Obviously being given carte blanche to choose a free book is a big responsibility.’
    • ‘As professional planters working for a wealthy proprietor, they were given carte blanche to transform the estate and a pair of dilapidated bungalows.’
    • ‘Ministers are promising to take an axe to regulations governing schools, handing headteachers carte blanche to design the curriculum in their school as they wish.’
    • ‘Most of Williams' dialogue has an improvisational quality to it - as if he was told the substance of his dialogue, but was given carte blanche as far as word choice and delivery.’
    • ‘He merely argued that the rule of law should apply to everyone equally, and that therefore travellers should not be given carte blanche to bust the planning laws but should be bound by them like everyone else.’
    • ‘Even though chewing is natural and healthy, that does not mean that the dog should be given carte blanche and allowed to chew everything in sight.’
    • ‘Whatever action you may wish to take you have carte blanche to do so.’
    • ‘The letter directs him to use his discretion, but he's given carte blanche to tell them whatever he wants.’
    • ‘At the same time we were given carte blanche, we could do what we wanted.’
    • ‘They were given carte blanche to come up with their very best model.’
    • ‘Nor did this particular state-nobility compact always mean that the nobility were given carte blanche to extend their grip on rural society.’
    • ‘Geoffrey Rush plays Superintendent Hare, who is given carte blanche to track down, capture, or if necessary kill Ned Kelly.’
    • ‘McLaren approached Board producers and asked that Larkin be given carte blanche to make any film using the charcoal technique.’
    • ‘Given carte blanche, Goldman decided to make style a priority.’
    • ‘George Benjamin has been given carte blanche to devise nine concerts for one of the world's greatest orchestras.’
    • ‘The Maine Road chief will be given carte blanche to spend big, with the board confident their manager can fulfil his stated ambition to make the Blues a top six premiership club.’
    • ‘Within the hour I was provided with a car from a reliable car hire agency and was given carte blanche to go wherever I wanted to until my car had been repaired.’
    • ‘You are given carte blanche to tell people what you think, and as long as you don't actually stab someone, you will be pretty much forgiven.’
    • ‘Assistants and servants had been given carte blanche to run up bills in the town.’
    • ‘To be sure, he admits, individuals may sign up as they wish, but they also enjoy carte blanche to withdraw.’
    freedom, scope, a free hand, leeway, latitude, elbow room, space, room, flexibility, liberty, independence, play, slack, free play, leisure, licence, room to manoeuvre, scope for initiative, freedom of action, freedom from restriction, indulgence, laxity, margin
    View synonyms
  • 2(in piquet) a hand containing no court cards as dealt.


Late 17th century: French, literally ‘blank paper’ (i.e. a blank sheet on which to write whatever one wishes, particularly one's own terms for an agreement).


carte blanche

/kɑːt ˈblɑːnʃ/