an/(one's) 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

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 ?
In reality, the site for Ebony Ivory Towers is merely a hole on the ground with no workers or machinery on site.
Modi and the likes of him are staring at an elitist bias based on lineage, looks and posh accents, but the Congress should know most Indians relate to the " chaiwallah" and those with humble backgrounds rather than those in ivory towers and with foreign degrees.
So remember when you fall from your ivory towers and are hurting, it was your lot who took away the safety net.
Instead of sitting behind your desks in your ivory towers dictating this rubbish,YOU go out and suffer as these brave people do every single day.
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?
ACADEMICS insist poor will not be priced out by rises", said your headline in Tuesday's paper, but if they really believe that, they've been in their ivory towers too long.
Our Phase II project has been going full steam ahead to achieve a 24-hour cycle as soon as possible, which includes Ebony and Ivory Towers while Phase I is nearing completion.
It is time the judges came down from their ivory towers and listened to what people want in the way of justice.
It's a ridiculous plan and it's about time the people the public elected to represent them came down from their ivory towers and into the real world.
HOW long can this madness go on, how much longer must the judiciary sit in their ivory towers and pass derisory sentences on those who continue to steal the lives of our decent citizens?
SCOTS ministers have been told to get out of their ivory towers and get in touch with real people and their problems.
Over the past four decades we have witnessed the results of quixotic teaching theories and ill-considered methods emanating from the ivory towers of college and university departments of education.
Prior to joining Forrester, Nemec held senior positions at The Advisory Board Company, served on the faculty of Davidson College, and recently published the book Ivory Towers and Nationalist Minds, chronicling the role of knowledge communities in societal innovation and reform.
It is so very sad that such a great venue is at this stage and raises the question, is this in favour of more ivory towers to be built in Redcar?
WHENEVER workers strike against workplace injustice, the monetarist zealots fly out of their ivory towers parroting on about a return to the Winter of Discontent.