Simple Definition of ivory
: a hard white substance that forms the tusks of elephants and other animals
: a slightly yellowish white color
: a piano key
Full Definition of ivoryplural
1 a : the hard creamy-white modified dentine that composes the tusks of a tusked mammal (as an elephant, walrus, or narwhal) b : a tusk that yields ivory
2 : a variable color averaging a pale yellow
3 slang : tooth
4 : something (as a piano key) made of ivory or of a similar substance
Examples of ivory in a sentence
a carved piece of ivory
Did You Know?
A hard white substance that is a variety of dentin, ivory makes up the tusks of such animals as elephants, walruses, and preserved mammoths. It is prized for its beauty, durability, and suitability for carving. In ancient times it was treasured as highly as gold and precious stones. Most ivory used commercially once came from Africa, but this trade declined in the 20th century as the populations of African elephants shrank, and increasing worldwide concern about endangered elephant populations led to bans on the export and import of ivory. The once-thriving markets of Europe have shifted to southeast Asia, where skilled artisans, often trading illegally, carve ivory into figurines and other objects.
Origin and Etymology of ivory
Middle English ivorie, from Anglo-French ivoire, ivurie, from Latin eboreus of ivory, from ebor-, ebur ivory, from Egyptian ˒ʾb, ˒ʾbw elephant, ivory
First Known Use: 13th century
IVORY Defined for Kids
Definition of ivory for Students
1 : a hard creamy-white material that forms the tusks of mammals (as elephants)
2 : a creamy white color
Medical Definition of ivory
: the hard creamy-white modified dentin that composes the tusks of a tusked mammal and especially the elephant
Seen and Heard
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