an/(one's) ivory tower

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an/(one's) ivory tower

A place or a social circle that is characterized by effete academic intelligence and thus is out of touch with or aloof from the realities of life. I don't put much weight in the advice of a bunch of economists living in their ivory towers who've never worked a real job in their lives. It seemed easy to solve all the world's problems when I was living in an ivory tower. Now that I'm out of college, I realize things are so much more complex than I'd imagined.
See also: ivory, tower

an ivory tower

COMMON If you say that someone is in an ivory tower, you mean that they are protected from the problems of ordinary life and are not aware of how ordinary people live. They're all out of touch — they live up in a little ivory tower, and they don't see what's going on down here. This won't happen until politicians come down from their ivory tower and learn to work in the real world of limited budgets and uncertain futures. Note: This is a translation of a French expression `tour d'ivoire', which was used by the critic Saint-Beuve to describe the way in which the writer Alfred de Vigny isolated himself from the rest of society.
See also: ivory, tower

an ˌivory ˈtower

(disapproving) a way of life in which people avoid the unpleasant realities of life: Just because I’m a writer, it doesn’t mean I live in an ivory tower. I have to earn a living like anyone else.What do professors and academics sitting in their ivory towers know about the real world?
See also: ivory, tower
References in periodicals archive ?
Diary of the Ivory Tower - Official event Facebook page CAIRO - 8 January 2018: The works of Egyptian artists Aliaa el-Gready and Nazir Tanbouli will be presented in a joint exhibition titled "Yawmiyat al-Burj al-'Agi" (Diary of the Ivory Tower) at the Greek Campus beginning Thursday.
Summary: It is known that in a few months' time Barack Obama will be changing his title from president to professor, as he abandons politics for the ivory tower.
He brought history out of the ivory tower and into people's lives.
No matter how one slices it, the burden of funding the Ivory Tower has grown ever heavier on the backs of taxpaying citizens.
PARK football - the origin of the beautiful game - seems a million miles away from the ivory tower of the Premiership boardroom, where club owners feverishly negotiate multi-million pound rights for television appearances.
Another investor told Gulf News that the Ivory Tower action group, which is now more than 40 people strong, visited the Land Department last week to seek guidance.
When a University Challenge team bridled at questions on Andrew Lloyd Webber's tunes, he snapped: "There's no shame in knowing this" adding "to think they said the ivory tower was dead".
What is most refreshing about Sustainable Table is that it doesn't shout down from the ivory tower and proclaim a know-it-all stance on the best way to grow food.
In a new book, Black Women in the Ivory Tower 1850-1954: An Intellectual History, author Stephanie Y.
Touching on issues of ethics, teaching, and the politics of peer review, these essays address questions about the effect of the business of higher education on anthropologists and what happens when anthropologists leave the ivory tower for the public realm.
Greening the Ivory Tower will guide you step-by-step through actions you can take to decrease an institution's environmental impact.
We enjoyed the great review of Out of the Ivory Tower in the Summer 2004 edition of Herizons.
At age 31 she's a veteran AIDS and prisoners' rights activist, and she's storming the radio dial with the same force she used in scaling the ivory tower.
The school's promotional video poked fun at the university's image by describing a "geek patrol"--an attempt to track down the Ivory Tower eggheads one has long associated with this institution of higher learning.
Perhaps afraid of straying too far outside the Ivory Tower, Cruz denies to her book elsewhere any mention of the relevance it holds for our world's society.