ivory tower

a place or situation remote from worldly or practical affairs: the university as an ivory tower.
an attitude of aloofness from or disdain or disregard for worldly or practical affairs: his ivory tower of complacency.

translation of French tour d'ivoire, phrase used by C.A. Sainte-Beuve in reference to the isolated life of the poet A. de Vigny (1837)

ivory-towered, ivory-towerish, adjective
ivory-towerism, ivorytowerishness, noun
ivory-towerist, ivory-towerite, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
ivory tower (ˈtaʊə)
a.  seclusion or remoteness of attitude regarding real problems, everyday life, etc
 b.  (as modifier): ivory-tower aestheticism

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

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.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Living on the bridge between the ivory tower and where the rubber hits the road
  for policy makers, we're constantly learning.
He was absolutely not shut away in some ivory tower somewhere.
It is no longer enough to sit in an ivory tower looking down on the world.
But some parts of the ivory tower have proved harder to occupy than others.
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