\ 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 Now the building is falling in on itself, overgrown with vines, ivy, and trees. Wright Thompson, The Atlantic, 22 July 2021 Its Mediterranean-style exterior is covered in ivy, which wraps around stone pillars and a set of keystone arches on the back patio. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, 19 July 2021 These hungry goats focus on eating invasive plants and undergrowth like blackberries, fennel and ivy. Caron Creighton, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 Sep. 2021 According to the UW Extension, Virginia creeper is also called five-leaved ivy and can grow up to 20 feet in a single year. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 16 Sep. 2021 Brick stairs trimmed with ivy lead down to the street. Nic Rowan, National Review, 14 Sep. 2021 The Wrigley Field ivy gave a second life to Cincinnati Reds starter Wade Miley and, perhaps, a second wind to the Reds’ playoff chances. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, 8 Sep. 2021 Some of the homes have been revamped by Steven Horne, owner of a local concrete company, but others show signs of disrepair, with ivy growing over their front doors. James Whitlow, baltimoresun.com, 1 Sep. 2021 Its downtown buildings are handsome, but many are boarded up or overgrown with ivy. al, 31 Aug. 2021 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, 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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The first known use of ivy was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

7 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ivy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ivy. Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for ivy



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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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