ivory


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Related to ivory: ivory tower

live in an/(one's) ivory tower

To reside or exist in a place or among 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, live, 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

tickle the ivories

To play the piano. (An allusion to its white keys, which were formerly made of ivory.) My father used to love tickling the ivories after dinner. My friends asked if I would tickle the ivories at their wedding reception.
See also: ivory, tickle

*in an ivory tower

Fig. in a place, such as a university, where one can be aloof from the realities of living. (Typ—ically: be ~; dwell ~; live ~; work ~.) If you didn't spend so much time in your ivory tower, you'd know what people really think! Many professors are said to live in ivory towers. They don't know what the real world is like.
See also: ivory, tower

tickle the ivories

to play the piano. I used to be able to tickle the ivories real nice. She sat down to tickle the ivories for a while.
See also: ivory, tickle

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

tickle the ivories

Play the piano, as in He went on tickling the ivories until three in the morning. This expression alludes to a piano's keys, traditionally made of ivory. [Colloquial; first half of 1900s]
See also: ivory, tickle

tickle the ivories

INFORMAL
If someone tickles the ivories, they play the piano. Peter Brown tickles the ivories tonight at the Mercury Lounge alongside bassist Chris Breitner.
See also: ivory, tickle

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

tickle (or tinkle) the ivories

play the piano. informal
The ivories are the white keys of the piano, traditionally made of ivory.
See also: ivory, tickle

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

ivories

(ˈɑɪvriz)
1. n. the teeth. (see also China.) I gotta go brush my ivories.
2. n. piano keys. (From when piano keys were made from real elephant ivory.) She can really bang those ivories.
3. n. dice. Hand me those ivories. The baby needs shoes!
See also: ivory

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

tickle the ivories

tv. to play the piano. I used to be able to tickle the ivories real nice.
See also: ivory, tickle
References in periodicals archive ?
The surrender has received overwhelming support from the UK public with almost 500 ivory items weighing around 150kgs donated in just a few months.
The former Metropolitan police commissioner, Lord Hogan-Howe, warned in a House of Lords debate that the current legislation was "fuelling demand for ivory and providing a hiding place for illegal modern ivory to be laundered through the legal market".
Stop the Ivory regional technical adviser Winnie Kiiru said Martin's dedication was highly valued within conservation cycles.
Only ivory hunted before 1990 is allowed to be traded when it is accompanied by a pre-convention certificate, but trade in "pre-convention" ivory has been thriving in China and Hong Kong since 1975.
This public mobilization campaign aimed to strengthen attitudes against purchasing ivory.
There is no reason that collectors, dealers, or museums who want to acquire, trade in, or exhibit historical artworks made from ivory should not also be deeply concerned for the future of the elephant and its habitats.
The UK also makes legal shipments of antiques to Asia, helping supply the world's largest ivory markets which are driving the poaching crisis.
They say ivory goods are sold openly in Laos, despite the country's pledge to curb wildlife trafficking.
In the US, which has largely banned its domestic ivory trade, more than 2,000 items were found to be on sale in an examination of six major online auction sites and marketplaces.
The UK exported more than three-and-a-half times as many ivory items during the period than the next highest exporter, the US.
Caption: Three of the most favored grip materials on Colt Single Actions are ivory, pearl and stag (L-R).
During the meeting in the Ivorian capital today, Kone declared Ivory Coast's program to develop its transportation system by 2020 and the country's need for 50, 000 light and heavy transportation vehicles.
Around 90 percent of ivory seized by law enforcement comes from African elephants that died less than three years before seizure, a study of ivory samples finds.
His latest, "The Ivory Game," is in the current awards season conversation and Jane Goodall, world-renowned British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and U.