an/(one's) ivory tower

(redirected from his 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 ?
The Justice Secretary was full of his usual bluster yesterday, yet we urge him to come down from his ivory tower.
In his ivory tower of academia, Dr Leunig appears to lack the perspicacity to understand people and the subtlety to deal with complex issues.
He needs to descend from his ivory tower and take a stroll down here among us mere mortals.
The likes of Rowan Williams cause trouble and disharmony whilst living in his ivory tower and then leave the rest of us to pick up the pieces.
In it, McIlwraith insisted he told the American ambassador to the UN to "get out of his ivory tower and go to Afghanistan to see how they live".
If Sowell really cared about what's going on in the schools, he'd climb down from his ivory tower, visit a cross section of schools, and see firsthand why the ``solid gains'' he attributes to NCLB are illusory, how his dichotomy of teachers who are ``conveyors of knowledge'' versus ``facilitators of learning'' is specious, and that every educator, not ``fewer than half,'' knows establishing discipline in the classroom is fundamental to learning.
I do not think the minister can sit in his ivory tower and not intervene.