an/(one's) ivory tower

(redirected from their 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 ?
If the councillors in their ivory tower in Motherwell paid more attention to the area, instead of paying it lip service, they would soon realise that we have more pressing problems too numerous to mention.
It always makesmewonder When certain people are in power The way they start spouting Once in their ivory tower Wemust cut down our costsHeads will have to roll We have to reduce the wage bill I''m afraid you're on the dole They talk about 'reducing staff'' And 'sacrificesmust be made'' Things have really gone too far And 'the price itmust be paid!'' Things have to be more efficient For the targetswe have to hit These terms apply to just one group, Theworking class who''re doing their bit!
Isn't it about time our council came out of their ivory tower and actually had a look round the city and maybe started trying to bring it back to the vibrant, colourful, and clean centre it was when we were in the running for the capital of culture, instead of the dirty dismal rundown place it is rapidly becoming?
No wonder.Mr Rae and his high-flying colleagues in Pitt Street have yet to deal with an angry man as they come through the ranks very quickly, in the safety of their ivory tower.
Do the planners just sit in their ivory tower at the Civic Centre and decide where to create havoc next?
Why then can't the so-called leaders of our country, AMs, the assembly, who sit in their ivory tower, allocating thousands and even millions on their offices and the soon to be completed 'glass house', decide now (not next year) to allocate the pounds 21m required for the completion of phase two and three of the children's hospital.
If Merseytravel would, for a moment, break out of their ivory tower in Hatton Garden, they would see that flexible tunnel tolls are the next step for the region's transport policy.
If he can't sort out the North East's problems, despite the fact he seems to think he can sort all the world's out, then it's doubtful a bunch of hand-picked `yes' men sitting in their ivory tower in Durham will make an ounce of difference ( apart from costing us a fortune in taxes!
The EU unelected controlling elite in their ivory towers in Brussels are living the high life at our expense and treat us like idiots.
AFTER 50 years of grinding away at a variety of hard jobs in the private sector, the last thing I need is people like the Bishop of Cov Cocksworth and Dave Nellist coming out of their ivory towers to tell me who I should and should not listen to - this time the EDL.
Summary: Lebanon's municipal elections are behind us, and what we have seen is an invitation to parties and politicians to climb down from their ivory towers and see the country for what it is.
YOU SAID: Instead of cutting front line services the local councils should concentrate on reducing the army of 'jobsworths' in their ivory towers.
Initiatives don''t get people into work, real jobs get people back into work and it''s about time our MPs from all parties who live in their ivory towers and earn massive wages and claim expenses, did something about it.
Such a callous decision may have been easy to make for faceless penpushers cocooned in their ivory towers but the impact on ordinary people's lives is devastating.
He said university types needed to get out of their ivory towers and recognise problems in the community to make a difference.