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An institution in which scholars pursue research in public policy. Largely funded by endowments and grants, think tanks work to improve public awareness of policy issues (through publications) and to influence the government to act upon issues of national importance. (See power elite.)
An institute or institution that specializes in the custody of interpretive intellectuals, esp in the social sciences, and usually caters to and is financed by a government in return for studies, prognostications, etc: A peace academy would be part graduate school, part think tank
[1959+; think-tank, ''the brain,'' is found by 1905]