Definition of ivory tower in English:

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ivory tower

Pronunciation: /ˈˌīv(ə)rē ˈˌtou(ə)r/


A state of privileged seclusion or separation from the facts and practicalities of the real world: the ivory tower of academia
More example sentences
  • Robbie Johnson had cornered a timid young lecturer and was educating him about the nature of the real world outside the ivory tower.
  • Rhythm and movement are everywhere in India, like air and water, and affect even the most prosaic shopkeeper in the bazaar or the academic in his ivory tower.
  • I'm not going to an ivory tower to write reports and articles for other academics.


Early 20th century: translating French tour d'ivoire, used by the writer Sainte-Beuve (1804–69).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: i·vo·ry tow·er

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