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Lacking something essential to fulfillment or completeness; unrestricted or open. A space left empty for the insertion of one or more words or marks in a written document that will effectuate its meaning or make it legally operative. A printed legal form in which the standard or necessary words are printed in their proper order with spaces left open, to be filled with names, dates, figures, and additional clauses.

A blank check is one that is unrestricted as to the amount to be paid.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

BLANK. A space left in writing to be filled, up with one or more words, in order to make sense. 1. In what cases the ambiguity occasioned by blanks not filled before execution of the writing may be explained 2. in what cases it cannot be explained.
     2. - 1. When a blank is left in a written agreement which need not - have been reduced to writing, and would have been equally binding whether written or unwritten, it is presumed, in an action for the non-performance of the contract, parol evidence might be admitted to explain the blank. And where a written instrument, which was made professedly to record a fact, is produced as evidence of that fact which it purports to record, and a blank appears in a material part, the omission may be supplied by other proof. 1 Phil. Ev. 475 1 Wils. 215; 7 Verm. R. 522; 6 Verm. R. 411. Hence a blank left in an award for a name, was allowed to be supplied by parol proof. 2 Dall. 180. But where a creditor signs a deed of composition leaving the amount of his debt in blank, he binds himself to all existing debts. 1 B. & A. 101; S. C. 2 Stark. R. 195.
     3. - 2. If a blank is left in a policy of insurance for the name of the place of destination of a ship, it will avoid the policy. Molloy, b. 2, c. 7, s. 14; Park, Ins. 22; Wesk. Ins. 42. A paper signed and sealed in blank, with verbal authority to. fill it up, which is afterwards done, is void, unless afterwards delivered or acknowledged and adopted. 1 Yerg. 69, 149; 1 Hill, 267 2 N. & M. 125; 2 Brock. 64; 2 Dev. 379 1 Ham. 368; 6 Gill & John. 250; but see contra, 17 S. & R. 438. Lines ought to be drawn wherever there are blanks, to prevent anything from being inserted afterwards. 2 Valin's Comm. 151.
     4. When the filling up blanks after the execution of deeds and other writings will vitiate them or not, see 3 Vin. Abr. 268; Moore, 547; Cro. Eliz. 626; 1 Vent. 185; 2 Lev. 35; 2 Ch. R. 187; 1 Anst. 228; 5 Mass. 538; 4 Binn. 1; 9 Crancb, 28; Yelv. 96; 2 Show. 161; 1 Saund. Pl. & Ev. 77; 4 B. & A. 672; Com. Dig. Fait, F 1; 4 @Bing. 123; 2 Hill. Ab. c. 25, Sec. 80; n. 33, Sec. 54-and 72; 1 Ohio, R. 368; 4 Binn. R. 1; 6 Cowen, 118; Wright, 176.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
TRUNDLES ALONG - Keanu Reeves often stares blankly at the camera
She sips her coffee, occasionally stirring it while staring blankly at the floor.
When four buckets of hot water arrived, we stared at them and then at him blankly. With parental patience, he led us to a concrete cell with a drainage hole, explaining that we hang the bucket on the upper hook and tip it.
Suddenly, he was accosted by a plumpish white American male, who began ranting: "Don't take the weakness of this American President as the weakness of the American people." When the ambassador looked at him blankly the man grabbed him, pulled him close and repeated his words slowly for emphasis.
Kordic (38), dressed in a black suit, stared out blankly from behind gold-rimmed glasses as the prosecution laid out its case.
On the darker side, monkeys who grow up clinging to the cold, unresponsive body of a wire-mesh substitute mother become social misfits, cowering and staring blankly out of hollow eyes.
Eventually, Bartleby rejects these chores, stares blankly at an empty wall, and answers all entreaties with, " I should prefer not to." Unable to persuade Bartleby either to work or to leave, the narrator moves to a new office, and the scrivener is taken to prison.
JACK Shepherd walked slowly into the tiny courtroom and stared blankly towards the wall of cameras.
The second place winner, a Taiwanese student named Kuo Han-cheng, said that when he takes a break he often stares blankly into space.
Paddy found himself staring blankly at the wall for hours on end; sobbing uncontrollably for days on end; and descending into black despair for months on end.
But when asked what he thought of Game 1 of the series with the Kings, Racela stared blankly at reporters and said he needed five minutes to digest what they just achieved.
I stared blankly at the doctor when she told me I had ankylosing spondylitis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the spine.