\ ˈī-vē How to pronounce ivy (audio) \
plural ivies

Definition of ivy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : 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
2 : any of several climbing plants (such as Virginia creeper) resembling ivy especially : poison ivy
3 often capitalized : an Ivy League college

Definition of ivy (Entry 2 of 2)

Illustration of ivy

Illustration of ivy


ivy 1

In the meaning defined above

Examples of ivy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For them, Waldorf is as hopelessly old fashioned as the ivy adorning the walls of his club. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "In a blindfold test, what would investors think of Tesla?," 14 Jan. 2020 The leaves that are available—holly, ivy and mistletoe—became obvious choices for decorations. Anne Lawrence-mathers, Quartz, "Reinvention of Christmas decorations is a historical tradition," 24 Dec. 2019 Beyoncé literally gave birth to herself with blue ivy. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Beyoncé and Blue Ivy Look Like Twins in This New Photo, and Fans Are Living for It," 2 Jan. 2020 These boutique fitness companies have grown like ivy, snaking their way through strip malls and blossoming in cities. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "The boutique fitness industry’s mission to monetize community," 1 Jan. 2020 When neurophysiologist Johanna Meijer placed a running wheel in an ivy-tangled corner of her garden, wild mice scampered into it and began to run. David Grimm, Science | AAAS, "Our favorite science news stories of the decade," 20 Dec. 2019 The earliest holiday accents, used first in Germany in the 1500s or 1600s, then here in the mid-1800s, were made from items found in nature: pine boughs, pine cones, ivy, holly, mistletoe and the like. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Holiday decorations matched to the era of your home really shine," 12 Dec. 2019 This was an OSU Alumni Association Day of Service project a few years ago, and groups go out every year to clear more acres of ivy. oregonlive, "Utah serviceberry brought to Oregon infected with rust: Ask an expert," 9 Nov. 2019 This incredible Tudor-style home with ivy crawling up the brick exterior is for sale for $3,600,000 and is listed by LIV SIR brokers Trish Bragg and Maggie Armstrong. Amanda Molitor, The Denver Post, "Discover some of Denver’s designer homes just in time for Denver Fashion Week," 7 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The actress, who's known for being something of an amateur equestrian, appears to be bending over to give her horse Ivy water through a tiny straw. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "We Have so Many Questions About This Photo of Selma Blair Feeding Her Horse a Juice Box," 21 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ivy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ivy


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1933, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ivy


Middle English, from Old English īfig; akin to Old High German ebah ivy


from the prevalence of ivy-covered buildings on the campuses of older U.S. colleges

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Time Traveler for ivy

Time Traveler

The first known use of ivy was before the 12th century

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Statistics for ivy

Last Updated

28 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ivy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ivy. Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for ivy


How to pronounce ivy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ivy

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


\ ˈī-vē How to pronounce ivy (audio) \
plural ivies

Kids Definition of ivy

1 : a climbing vine with evergreen leaves and black berries often found growing on buildings
2 : a climbing plant that resembles ivy

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More from Merriam-Webster on ivy

Spanish Central: Translation of ivy

Nglish: Translation of ivy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ivy for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ivy

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