- the hard white substance, a variety of dentin, composing the main part of the tusks of the elephant, walrus, etc.
- this substance when taken from a dead animal and used to make carvings, billiard balls, etc.
- some substance resembling this.
- an article made of this substance, as a carving or a billiard ball.
- a tusk, as of an elephant.
- dentin of any kind.
- Slang. a tooth, or the teeth.
- ivories, Slang.
- the keys of a piano or of a similar keyboard instrument.
- Also called vegetable ivory. the hard endosperm of the ivory nut, used for ornamental purposes, for buttons, etc.
- a creamy or yellowish white.
- a smooth paper finish produced by coating with beeswax before calendering.
- consisting or made of ivory.
- of the color ivory.
Origin of ivory
Examples from the Web for ivories
You are perhaps acquainted with the ivories which have been recently purchased there?On the Old Road, Vol. 2 (of 2)
Generally, however, the African elephants have the largest “ivories.”
The ivories of the Htel Cluny are among its greatest treasures.Old and New Paris, v. 2
Henry Sutherland Edwards
Get us the pictures, Philip—the latest cuts—and bring—ay, you may bring the ivories.Confession
W. Gilmore Simms
He heard the raving chatter of ivories, snapping to rend him.Darkness and Dawn
George Allan England
- a hard smooth creamy white variety of dentine that makes up a major part of the tusks of elephants, walruses, and similar animals
- (as modifier)ivory ornaments
- a tusk made of ivory
- a yellowish-white colour; cream
- (as adjective)ivory shoes
- a substance resembling elephant tusk
- an ornament, etc, made of ivory
- black ivory obsolete Black slaves collectively
- James. born 1928, US film director. With the producer Ismael Merchant, his films include Shakespeare Wallah (1964), Heat and Dust (1983), A Room With a View (1986), and The Golden Bowl (2000)
Word Origin and History for ivories
mid-13c. (late 12c. as a surname), Anglo-French ivorie, from Old North French ivurie (12c.), from Latin eboreus "of ivory," from ebur (genitive eboris) "ivory," probably via Phoenician from an African source (cf. Egyptian ab "elephant," Coptic ebu "ivory"). Replaced Old English elpendban, literally "elephant bone." Applied in slang to articles made from it, such as dice (1830) and piano keys (1854). As a color, especially in reference to human skin, it is attested from 1580s. Ivories as slang for "teeth" dates from 1782. Related: Ivoried.
- The hard, smooth, yellowish-white substance forming the teeth and tusks of certain animals, such as the tusks of elephants and walruses and the teeth of certain whales. Ivory is composed of dentin.