from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A place or attitude of retreat, especially preoccupation with lofty, remote, or intellectual considerations rather than practical everyday life.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A sheltered, overly-academic existence or perspective, implying a disconnection or lack of awareness of reality or practical considerations.
- adj. Seperated from reality and practical matters; overly academic.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a state of mind that is discussed as if it were a place
Translation of French tour d'ivoire : tour, tower + de, of + ivoire, ivory.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1911, calque of French figurative use, based on literal biblical phrase. (Wiktionary)
Langer isn’t just an ivory tower academic-he holds more than five hundred patents, and his research has led to everything from the development of the nicotine patch to brain cancer treatments.