noun \ˈī-vē\

: a plant that has long stems and that often grows on the outsides of buildings

plural ivies

Full Definition of IVY

:  a widely cultivated ornamental climbing or prostrate or sometimes shrubby chiefly Eurasian vine (Hedera helix) of the ginseng family with evergreen leaves, small yellowish flowers, and black berries
often capitalized :  an Ivy League college

Illustration of IVY

Origin of IVY

Middle English, from Old English īfig; akin to Old High German ebah ivy
First Known Use: before 12th century



Definition of IVY

:  academic

Origin of IVY

from the prevalence of ivy-covered buildings on the campuses of older United States colleges
First Known Use: 1933


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

English ivy (Hedera helix).—Sven Samelius

Any of about five species of evergreen woody vines (rarely shrubs) that make up the genus Hedera in the ginseng family, commonly grown as ground covers and on stone walls, especially English ivy (H. helix), which climbs by aerial roots with adhering disks that develop on the stems. The tough, dark-green leaves of English ivy have three to five lobes and tend to droop horizontally from the stem. Unrelated plants called ivies include Boston ivy (Parthenocissus, or Ampelopsis, tricuspidata), a clinging woody vine in the grape family whose leaves turn bright scarlet in autumn, and poison ivy.


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