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

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Meanwhile, Ivory Tower also chronicles a dramatic clash of competing visions at Cooper Union in New York City.
Hundreds of investors acquired off-plan units in the 20-storey Ivory tower which was launched in 2005.
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.
Put simply, social realist artists struggled to redeem themselves from the seeming perils of ivory tower isolation and an exclusively upper-class system of patronage by forging work that was both about and for poor and working-class people" (107).
Set in an ancient and wealthy English estate, Lostlindens: An Ivory Tower Mystery is a suspenseful and deliciously written tale by award-winning author David D.
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.
It's all ivory tower theory," Dickson says of computer experts' criticism of voting computers.
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.
An Ivory Tower Entertainment presentaion of a Resurrection Films production.
These griots have snatched poetry by the throat from its ivory tower and sat it down on the corner of Crenshaw and King.
We know that corporate ethics isn't just some ivory tower concept.
Thus it is occasionally extraordinary and always interesting when professors leave the Ivory Tower and present evidence that all is not well in academia.