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rubber stamp

a device with a rubber printing surface that becomes coated with ink by being pressed on an ink-saturated pad, used for imprinting dates, addresses, standard designations or notices, etc., by hand.
a person or government agency that gives approval automatically or routinely.
such approval.
Origin of rubber stamp


[ruhb-er-stamp] /ˈrʌb ərˈstæmp/
verb (used with object)
to imprint with a rubber stamp.
to give approval automatically or without consideration:
to rubber-stamp the president's proposals.
tending to give approval automatically or without due consideration:
a rubber-stamp Congress that passed all the president's bills.
1915-20; v. use of rubber stamp Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for rubber stamp
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The name of variety and our trade-mark is put on the barrel with stencil or rubber stamp.

    The Apple Various
  • I found that it worked as well, not to say better, than a rubber stamp.

  • Later we got a rubber stamp, and printed the directions for use on each; but we had no time for that then.

    Perkins of Portland Ellis Parker Butler
  • We've got a rubber stamp in the office for just such emergencies.

    Jack and the Check Book John Kendrick Bangs
  • This is cheaply done with a rubber stamp and violet or red ink pad.

    A Library Primer John Cotton Dana
British Dictionary definitions for rubber stamp

rubber stamp

a device used for imprinting dates or commonly used phrases on forms, invoices, etc
automatic authorization of a payment, proposal, etc, without challenge
a person who makes such automatic authorizations; a cipher or person of little account
verb (transitive)
to imprint (forms, invoices, etc) with a rubber stamp
(informal) to approve automatically
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with rubber stamp

rubber stamp

A person or organization that automatically approves or endorses a policy without assessing its merit; also, such an approval or endorsement. For example, The nominating committee is merely a rubber stamp; they approve anyone the chairman names, or The dean gave his rubber stamp to the recommendations of the tenure committee. This metaphoric term alludes to the rubber printing device used to imprint the same words over and over. [ Early 1900s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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