a blank check

a blank check

1. Literally, a check presented to someone with the amount left blank, so that it can be written out for the desired total. Mom, can you give me a blank check so I can fill it out when I buy my school supplies?
2. By extension, the freedom or permission to spend as much money or use as much resources as needed in pursuit of a desire or goal. The company was having a difficult time retaining good employees so the manager was given a blank check to increase salaries and restructure his department. After the fifth murder, the city's police officers were given a blank check to use whatever resources they needed in order to find the serial killer before he struck again.
See also: blank, check

blank check

freedom or permission to act as one wishes or thinks necessary. He's been given a blank check with regard to reorganizing the workforce. The new manager has been given no detailed instructions about how to train the staff. He just has a blank check.
See also: blank, check

blank check

Unrestricted authority, a free hand, as in I'll support most of the chairman's agenda, but I'm not ready to give him a blank check for the company's future . Literally this term signifies a bank check that is signed by the drawer but does not indicate the amount of money, which is filled in by the person to whom it is given. [Late 1800s]
See also: blank, check
References in classic literature ?
I really cannot justify it to my conscience to carry about my person any such loose and reckless document as a blank check. There's a total disregard of the first claims of prudence and economy implied in this small slip of paper which is nothing less than a flat contradiction of the principles that have governed my whole life.
Then the Banker endorsed a blank check (which he crossed), And changed his loose silver for notes.
Stellar is a blank check company, also commonly referred to as a Special Purpose Acquisition Company, or SPAC, formed for the purpose of entering into a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses or entities.
Foreign taxpayers should note however that Swallows is not a blank check for not filing returns.
As former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane put it, Iran/contra was nothing less than an exercise in "absolute stealth." By averting its eyes, Congress in effect gave the executive a blank check.