give (one) a blank check

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give (one) a blank check

1. Literally, to give one a check 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, to give one the freedom or permission to take any action in pursuit of a desire or goal (especially spending as much money or using as much resources as needed). The company was having a difficult time retaining good employees so the CEO gave the manager a blank check to increase salaries and restructure his department. After the fifth murder, the mayor gave the city's police officers a blank check to use whatever resources they needed in order to find the serial killer before he struck again.
See also: blank, check, give

give someone a blank check

 and give a blank check to someone 
1. Lit. to give someone a signed check that lacks only the amount or payment which can be filled in by anyone. Sally sent a blank check to school with Billy to pay for his books.
2. Fig. to give someone 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 manager has been given no instructions about how to train the staff. The owner just gave him a blank check. Jean gave the decorator a blank check and said she wanted the whole house done.
See also: blank, check, give