carte blanche(redirected from cartes blanches)
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The freedom to do whatever one wants or deems necessary, especially with a particular task or assignment. This French phrase means "blank card" in English. I can't believe the boss gave me carte blanche to organize the conference—he's usually such a micro-manager!
Fig. freedom or permission to act as one wishes or thinks necessary. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give someone ~.) He's been given carte blanche with the reorganization of the workforce. The manager has been given no instructions about how to train the staff. He has carte blanche from the owner.
ˌcarte ˈblanche (to do something)(from French) complete freedom or authority to do anything you like: The detective was given carte blanche to read any files he liked in his search for the murderer.The French expression means ‘blank paper’ on which somebody could write their own conditions for an agreement.
Complete freedom, unlimited power. The term is French for “blank paper,” used in the same sense as “blank check”—that is, anything may be filled in. In the 1600s it was used in the military for unconditional surrender. After World War I it was broadened to civilian contexts, such as “He’s the best mechanic we have; the boss gave him carte blanche to handle all the repairs.”