an/(one's) ivory tower

(redirected from their ivory tower)

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 ?
If the councillors in their ivory tower in Motherwell paid more attention to the area, instead of paying it lip service, they would soon realise that we have more pressing problems too numerous to mention.
It always makesmewonder When certain people are in power The way they start spouting Once in their ivory tower Wemust cut down our costsHeads will have to roll We have to reduce the wage bill I''m afraid you're on the dole They talk about 'reducing staff'' And 'sacrificesmust be made'' Things have really gone too far And 'the price itmust be paid
Isn't it about time our council came out of their ivory tower and actually had a look round the city and maybe started trying to bring it back to the vibrant, colourful, and clean centre it was when we were in the running for the capital of culture, instead of the dirty dismal rundown place it is rapidly becoming?
Do the planners just sit in their ivory tower at the Civic Centre and decide where to create havoc next?
Next Monday night, the data collectors, math wizards and philosophers behind the so-called BCS will climb down from their ivory tower and reveal their first official standings of the 2000 college football season.
If he can't sort out the North East's problems, despite the fact he seems to think he can sort all the world's out, then it's doubtful a bunch of hand-picked `yes' men sitting in their ivory tower in Durham will make an ounce of difference ( apart from costing us a fortune in taxes
Mr Rae and his high-flying colleagues in Pitt Street have yet to deal with an angry man as they come through the ranks very quickly, in the safety of their ivory tower.
Why then can't the so-called leaders of our country, AMs, the assembly, who sit in their ivory tower, allocating thousands and even millions on their offices and the soon to be completed 'glass house', decide now (not next year) to allocate the pounds 21m required for the completion of phase two and three of the children's hospital.
If Merseytravel would, for a moment, break out of their ivory tower in Hatton Garden, they would see that flexible tunnel tolls are the next step for the region's transport policy.
Summary: Lebanon's municipal elections are behind us, and what we have seen is an invitation to parties and politicians to climb down from their ivory towers and see the country for what it is.
YOU SAID: Instead of cutting front line services the local councils should concentrate on reducing the army of 'jobsworths' in their ivory towers.
He said university types needed to get out of their ivory towers and recognise problems in the community to make a difference.
While I understand cuts have to be made because of the edicts of central government, I really do think that the likes of Martin Reeves and his colleagues should leave their ivory towers occasionally to see the impact the cuts are having under the name of 'abc' (A Better Coventry) at ground level.
It is all very well for people to pontificate from their ivory towers but the reality on the streets in towns across Britain is very different.
Do the transport officials sitting in their ivory towers, and no doubt with cars at their disposal, realise what they have done to our bus services?