noun \ˈīv-rē, ˈī-və-rē\

: a hard white substance that forms the tusks of elephants and other animals

: a slightly yellowish white color

: a piano key

plural ivo·ries

Full Definition of IVORY

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
:  a variable color averaging a pale yellow
slang :  tooth
:  something (as a piano key) made of ivory or of a similar substance
ivory adjective

Examples of IVORY

  1. a carved piece of ivory

Origin 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


noun \ˈīv-(ə-)rē\   (Medical Dictionary)
plural ivo·ries

Medical Definition of IVORY

: the hard creamy-white modified dentin that composes the tusks of a tusked mammal and especially the elephant
ivory adjective


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Hard white substance, a variety of dentin, that 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; sales of ivory declined in the 20th century as the populations of African elephants shrank, and worldwide concern about endangered elephant populations have led to bans on the export and import of ivory. The once-thriving markets of Europe have shifted to South Asia, where skilled artisans, often trading illegally, carve ivory into figurines and other objects.


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