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ivory

[ahy-vuh-ree, ahy-vree] /ˈaɪ və ri, ˈaɪ vri/
noun, plural ivories.
1.
the hard white substance, a variety of dentin, composing the main part of the tusks of the elephant, walrus, etc.
2.
this substance when taken from a dead animal and used to make carvings, billiard balls, etc.
3.
some substance resembling this.
4.
an article made of this substance, as a carving or a billiard ball.
5.
a tusk, as of an elephant.
6.
dentin of any kind.
7.
Slang. a tooth, or the teeth.
8.
ivories, Slang.
  1. the keys of a piano or of a similar keyboard instrument.
  2. dice.
9.
Also called vegetable ivory. the hard endosperm of the ivory nut, used for ornamental purposes, for buttons, etc.
10.
a creamy or yellowish white.
11.
a smooth paper finish produced by coating with beeswax before calendering.
adjective
12.
consisting or made of ivory.
13.
of the color ivory.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English < Old French ivurie < Latin eboreus (adj.), equivalent to ebor- (stem of ebur) ivory + -eus adj. suffix; see -eous
Related forms
ivorylike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for ivory
  • Well, postman, it is only fair to note that violence in ivory towers is extremely low nowadays.
  • But the conference will also ponder a number of questions about the ivory tower itself.
  • He was absolutely not shut away in some ivory tower somewhere.
  • The handles of the delicate tools on the right are made from ivory.
  • It also attracts poachers who target the elephants for ivory.
  • It was really ornate with the ivory keys peeling off.
  • We, unwashed groundlings patiently await your return from the great ivory tower.
  • ivory tower types should not be in charge of economies.
  • That's one of the reasons the myth of the academic scientist in the ivory tower has always puzzled me.
  • It's only as complicated as you wish to make it, so that you can stay in your ivory towers of pseudo-science.
British Dictionary definitions for ivory

ivory

/ˈaɪvərɪ; -vrɪ/
noun (pl) -ries
1.
  1. a hard smooth creamy white variety of dentine that makes up a major part of the tusks of elephants, walruses, and similar animals
  2. (as modifier): ivory ornaments
2.
a tusk made of ivory
3.
  1. a yellowish-white colour; cream
  2. (as adjective): ivory shoes
4.
a substance resembling elephant tusk
5.
an ornament, etc, made of ivory
6.
(obsolete) black ivory, Black slaves collectively
See also ivories
Derived Forms
ivory-like, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French ivurie, from Latin evoreus made of ivory, from ebur ivory; related to Greek elephas ivory, elephant

Ivory

/ˈaɪvərɪ/
noun
1.
James. born 1928, US film director. With the producer Ismael Merchant, his films include Shakespeare Wallah (1964), Heat and Dust (1983), A Room With a View (1986), and The Golden Bowl (2000)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ivory
n.

mid-13c. (late 12c. as a surname), Anglo-French ivorie, from Old North French ivurie (12c.), from Latin eboreus "of ivory," from ebur (genitive eboris) "ivory," probably via Phoenician from an African source (cf. Egyptian ab "elephant," Coptic ebu "ivory"). Replaced Old English elpendban, literally "elephant bone." Applied in slang to articles made from it, such as dice (1830) and piano keys (1854). As a color, especially in reference to human skin, it is attested from 1580s. Ivories as slang for "teeth" dates from 1782. Related: Ivoried.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ivory in Science
ivory
  (ī'və-rē)   
The hard, smooth, yellowish-white substance forming the teeth and tusks of certain animals, such as the tusks of elephants and walruses and the teeth of certain whales. Ivory is composed of dentin.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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ivory in the Bible

(Heb. pl. shenhabbim, the "tusks of elephants") was early used in decorations by the Egyptians, and a great trade in it was carried on by the Assyrians (Ezek. 27:6; Rev. 18:12). It was used by the Phoenicians to ornament the box-wood rowing-benches of their galleys, and Hiram's skilled workmen made Solomon's throne of ivory (1 Kings 10:18). It was brought by the caravans of Dedan (Isa. 21:13), and from the East Indies by the navy of Tarshish (1 Kings 10:22). Many specimens of ancient Egyptian and Assyrian ivory-work have been preserved. The word _habbim_ is derived from the Sanscrit _ibhas_, meaning "elephant," preceded by the Hebrew article (ha); and hence it is argued that Ophir, from which it and the other articles mentioned in 1 Kings 10:22 were brought, was in India.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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11
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