work in an/(one's) ivory tower

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work 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 working in their ivory towers—they've never had a real job in their lives. It seemed easy to solve all the world's problems when I was working in an ivory tower. Now that I'm not a professor anymore, I realize things are so much more complex than I'd imagined.
See also: ivory, tower, work
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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