Meaning of IVORY in English


I. ˈīv(ə)rē, -ri noun

( -es ; see senses 3, 4 )

Etymology: Middle English ivor, ivorie, from Old French ivore, ivoire, ivurie, from Latin eboreus, adjective, of ivory, from ebor-, ebur ivory, of Hamitic origin; akin to Egyptian ˒ʾ bw elephant, ivory



(1) : the hard creamy-white opaque fine-grained elastic modified dentine that composes the tusks of an elephant

(2) : the dentine of the tusks of large mammals (as narwhals, walruses) other than elephants

(3) : the dentine of any tooth

b. : a tusk of an elephant or other large mammal


a. : creamy whiteness

b. or ivory yellow or ivory white

(1) : a variable color averaging a pale yellow that is darker, slightly redder, and very slightly less strong than cream, paler and slightly redder than straw, and paler and slightly greener than leghorn

(2) of textiles : a yellowish white that is stronger and slightly redder than milk white and redder and slightly less strong than average shell tint

3. plural ivories or ivory slang : tooth

fell down and broke one of his ivories

snarled and showed his ivory

4. plural ivories or ivory : something made of ivory or of a substance resembling or suggestive of ivory: as

a. slang : die 1a

rattling the ivory

picked up one of the ivories

b. : a carving in ivory

the museum has a remarkable collection of ivories

c. slang : a pool or billiard ball

watched them shoot the ivories around

d. slang : one of the keys of a piano keyboard or of the keyboard of a similar instrument (as an accordion)

tickling the ivories

II. adjective

Etymology: Middle English iver, from iver, ivor, n.


a. : made of ivory : consisting of ivory

an ivory figurine

a tiny ivory box

b. : resembling or suggestive of ivory : having a finish suggestive of the surface of ivory

a fine-grained wood with a highly polished ivory surface

ivory porcelain

especially : having a creamy whiteness and smoothness suggestive of ivory

admired her ivory arms and shoulders

c. : of the color ivory

2. : ivory-towered

little men in ivory offices, who … fear to carry out their instructions in a liberal and imaginative way — Edward Sackville-West



variant of ivy

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.