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ivy Syllabification: i·vy
Pronunciation: /ˈīvē/

Definition of ivy in English:

noun (plural ivies)

Image of ivy
1A woody evergreen Eurasian climbing plant, typically having shiny, dark green five-pointed leaves.
  • Genus Hedera, family Araliaceae: several species, in particular the common English ivy (H. helix), which is often seen climbing on tree trunks and walls
Example sentences
  • Standards of plants not requiring dormant cycles, such as bougainvillea, hibiscus, ivies or geraniums, have a simple winter culture.
  • Spider plants and ivies are ideal for desks, and a large-leaved Ficus lyrata or Phoenix roebelinii will cheer up a bare corner.
  • Containers can be given a new lease of life by replacing these plants with autumn and winter specimens such as pansies, winter-flowering heathers, hardy cyclamen and evergreen ivies.
1.1Used in names of climbing plants similar to ivy, e.g., poison ivy, Boston ivy.
Example sentences
  • I don't much like poison ivy but that doesn't mean I don't like ivy, or plants.
  • Boston Ivy can easily climb tree bark, wooden fences, concrete masonry, and brick or stone walls.
  • Boston Ivy, Parthenocissus tricuspidata is a deciduous vine with tendrils. Boston Ivy has glossy dark green leaves that turn bright red in the fall.
2An Ivy League university: many of the Ivies had been founded for the purpose of training students as ministers
More example sentences
  • Traditionally, Princeton has also been far less a magnet for media coverage than Ivies with departments, such as Harvard or Yale.
  • The prep schools and the Ivies are a key part of the Northeast's identity, its sense of academic excellence and its aristocratic subculture.
  • He was smart enough to be recruited by the Ivies yet never finished his degree at Maryland.
2.1A prestigious college or university of a specified region or type: Duke is considered one of the “Southern Ivies” one would think that seats at these public Ivies would be reserved for graduates of that state’s high schools
More example sentences
  • Boston College sent out a notice that it had been named one of the 25 "New Ivies" in Newsweek.
  • According to The Public Ivies: America's Flagship Public Universities, the University of Colorado Boulder is considered one of the prestigious "Public Ivy League" schools.
  • There is also a trend toward the semiprivatization of state flagship campus institutions (now being called "the public Ivies"), which may push fees yet higher.


Old English īfig, of Germanic origin; related to the first elements of Dutch eiloof and German Efeu.

Words that rhyme with ivy

Sylvie • grovy

Definition of ivy in:

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