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Word of the Day
Saturday, July 21, 2018

Definitions for carte blanche

  1. unconditional authority; full discretionary power: 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.

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Citations for carte blanche
If you think this ... grants you carte blanche to stroll willy-nilly through that building asking any question that pops into your head, regardless of its bearing on the matter you are investigating, you are sadly mistaken. Stephen Coonts, America, 2001
... what it said should not be interpreted as giving other businesses carte blanche to do what Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, did. German Lopez, "Why you shouldn't freak out about the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling," Vox, June 4, 2018
Origin of carte blanche
1645-1655
In the early 18th century carte blanche, literally “blank paper,” was a paper officially signed and given to another party to write in his or her own conditions or terms. By 1766 carte blanche acquired the meaning “full discretionary power, unconditional authority,” its current meaning. By the 19th century carte blanche in some card games, e.g., piquet, also meant "a hand of cards having no face cards, especially in piquet."