a place or situation remote from worldly or practical affairs:
the university as an ivory tower.
an attitude of aloofness from or disdain or disregard for worldly or practical affairs:
his ivory tower of complacency.
as a symbol of artistic or intellectual aloofness, by 1889, from French tour d’ivoire, used in 1837 by critic Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve (1804-1869) with reference to the poet Alfred de Vigny, whom he accused of excessive aloofness.
Et Vigny, plus secret, comme en sa tour d’ivoire, avant midi rentrait. [Sainte-Beuve, “Pensées d’Août, à M. Villemain,” 1837]
Used earlier as a type of a wonder or a symbol of “the ideal.” The literal image is perhaps from Song of Solomon [vii:4]:
Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus. [KJV]
A place or attitude of retreat, especially preoccupation with lofty, remote, or intellectual considerations: Come out of that ivory tower
A place or attitude of retreat, remoteness from everyday affairs, as in What does the professor know about student life, living as he does in an ivory tower? This term is a translation of the French tour d’ivoire, which the critic Saint-Beuve used to describe the attitude of poet Alfred de Vigny in 1837. It is used most often in reference to intellectuals and artists who remain complacently aloof.
[ahy-vuh-ree-tahyp, ahy-vree-] /ˈaɪ və riˌtaɪp, ˈaɪ vri-/ noun, Photography. 1. an antiquated photoprinting technique in which two prints are made of the same image, and the weaker one, made transparent with varnish and colored on the back, is laid over the stronger one.
[ahy-vuh-ree-hwahyt, -wahyt, ahy-vree-] /ˈaɪ və riˈʰwaɪt, -ˈwaɪt, ˈaɪ vri-/ adjective 1. of a creamy or yellowish white in color.
/ˈaɪvərɪˌwʊd/ noun 1. the yellowish-white wood of an Australian tree, Siphonodon australe, used for engraving, inlaying, and turnery 2. the tree itself: family Celastraceae
1. intravenous pyelography 2. intravenous pyelogram