carte blanche

What is the meaning of carte blanche?

By Mr. David, Scotland - 11th Jan. 2007.

The first word
carte is pronounced like the word cart. The a in blanche is pronounced like the o in hot, pot and cot. The final che sounds like the sh in words like should, shut, and ship. The main stress is on the first syllable of Blanche. As you have probably guessed, the expression comes from French.

When you give someone
cart blanche, you give them total freedom to do whatever they want. It's like giving them a blank cheque. The literal French meaning of carte blanche is blank document. Therefore when you are given carte blanche you are given complete freedom or authority to do whatever you think is right.

Here are a few examples.

• The new Director was given
carte blanche to do what he wanted.

• Rachel was given
carte blanche to remodel the old house.

• Sera was given
carte blanche to hire teachers for the new school.

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