View synonyms for think tank

think tank


  1. a research institute or organization employed to solve complex problems or predict or plan future developments, as in military, political, or social areas.



  1. informal.
    a group of specialists organized by a business enterprise, governmental body, etc, and commissioned to undertake intensive study and research into specified problems

think tank

  1. 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 .)

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Word History and Origins

Origin of think tank1

1900–05 for earlier sense “brain”; 1955–60 for current sense

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Idioms and Phrases

A group or organization dedicated to problem-solving and research, especially in such areas as technology, social or political strategy, and the military. For example, The congressional leaders rely too heavily on that conservative think tank . This term originated about 1900 as a facetious colloquialism for brain and was given its new meaning about 1950.

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Example Sentences

An earlier version of this story said the think tank estimated 85 percent would get a full payment.

The think tank finds that 80% of men—and 91% of all survey respondents—say men and women should share care work equally.

From Fortune

Erik Gross, a 25-year-old program coordinator at a think tank, assumed there was.

MAP is an independent, nonprofit think tank that provides rigorous research about equality in the world.

Conservative think tanks have opposed the stimulus package, and House Republicans have already condemned the Voting Rights Act update that Democrats intend to pass as their first non-impeachment business.

“The events this year with Ukraine led to his ties with Cato being severed,” a source at the think tank told The Daily Beast.

In this earnest effort it joins every other news outlet and think-tank.

The illuminating think tank was just another example of how PepsiCo continues to make sure its global reach counts.

The libertarian think tank is housed at George Mason University.

“The mission right now is to save the Kurdish people,” Veysel Ayhan, head of the IMPR think tank in Ankara, told The Daily Beast.

Got a old maid with her to keep her company—a chapper-own, they say—which ain't in no ways illuminatin' my think-tank none.

Well, just lemmee drop it into your think tank, an' lay to what I say.

You ought to be sent to Sulphur Springs and get your think-tank hoed out.

One more bubble out of the old think-tank and I'll let you off for the day.


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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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