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

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.
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

ivory tower

n. an imaginary location where aloof academics are said to reside and work. Why don’t you come out of your ivory tower and see what the world is really like?
See also: ivory, tower

ivory tower

A situation or attitude remote from practical affairs. The term originated in the French critic Sainte-Beuve’s description of poet Alfred de Vigny as living in an ivory tower (1837), that is, isolated from life’s harsh realities. Subsequently, the term has been used to describe academics, artists, writers, or indeed anyone complacently aloof from everyday affairs. Cyril Connolly (Enemies of Promise, 1938) used it to disparage Walter Pater: “Pater, calling an art-for-art’s sake muezzin to the faithful from the top-most turret of the ivory tower.” The term is heard less often today but is by no means obsolete.
See also: ivory, tower
References in periodicals archive ?
Yet Mr Hunt sits in his ivory tower expecting them to do it for a pittance.
He is sitting in his ivory tower, his millionaire's palace, so it's easy for him to say.
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.
WITH the appointment of David Stewart as chief executive of the Coventry Building Society I sincerely hope that he doesn't sit there like Martin Ritchley did in his ivory tower and ignore some of the members, such as the elderly and disabled.
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".
His missing sense of boundary and distinction puts him at a polar remove from the over-distinguished, over-distinguishing Chicago professor in his ivory tower. And thereby hangs a creation tale, in which Moses the lonely Monad supplies himself with an Other to be shaped in his own image much as God shapes Adam, or Frankenstein constructs his monster, or a writer plants his "spitting image" on the page.
The Justice Secretary was full of his usual bluster yesterday, yet we urge him to come down from his ivory tower.
From his ivory tower at No 10, he has lost sight of the true cost of the Iraq conflict.
"I do not think the minister can sit in his ivory tower and not intervene."
Perhaps he should come out of his ivory tower and into the real world, where a treat could await him in the form of The Wirral Sound - the Marching Band of the Boys and Girls Brigades in Moreton, and the youth band of choice for Wirral council.