blank check

blank check (American English)
blank cheque (British English)

Meaning

  • Complete authority or unrestricted freedom of action or a free hand.
  • In modern times, the term “blank cheque” simply means that a person is given the right to do whatever they please. It also still retains its old meaning as well.
  • People often use this phrase to describe how people are not accountable for using funds that do not necessarily belong to them.
  • It can also mean they have free reign to control resources, situations, or environments without answering to a higher authority.
  • It can also mean that an individual or group can behave in any way they desire without repercussions.

Examples in Sentences

  1. Roger was given a blank check by Mr. Musk. He could spend as much as he wanted to implement the latest driving technology.
  2. Jeremy gave her a blank check to buy whatever her little heart desired. Hopefully, he will have enough money to cover her expenses.
  3. Bonsworth has free reign in his new position. He has a blank cheque to do whatever he pleases. Nobody is holding him accountable for anything that he says or does.
  4. The politicians decided to give working and middle-class people $10,000. This money can be used as a blank cheque to buy whatever they desire. Finally, the little people get a break.
  5. Several people expressed their concern when the chairman desired to give the blank cheque for the company’s future in the hands of the 25-year-old director.

Origin

The expression “blank cheque” or “blank check” has been in use for a very long time. It was in use during the 4th and 5th centuries A.D. It evolved from the Arabic kings (Shahs), who would use the term “checks” to send notes to another individual or organization. Those checks had specific royal credentials and a monetary value included in them to make them official.

Overtime, some rulers would send “blank cheques” to an individual or organization. These cheques bore the official royal seal, but no monetary value was attached to them.This simply meant that the receiver of the cheque could write whatever monetary amount they desired.

So, many westerners at the time were familiar with this practice. The term “blank cheque” allows a person to write any amount they desire for compensation, to complete a project, or to receive as payment for a product or service. This term is still being used by some people.

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