[ ahy-vuh-ree, ahy-vree ]
/ ˈaɪ və ri, ˈaɪ vri /

noun, plural i·vo·ries.


consisting or made of ivory.
of the color ivory.

Nearby words

  1. ivied,
  2. iviza,
  3. ivor,
  4. ivorian,
  5. ivories,
  6. ivory black,
  7. ivory coast,
  8. ivory exostosis,
  9. ivory gull,
  10. ivory nut

Origin of ivory

1250–1300; Middle English < Old French ivurie < Latin eboreus (adj.), equivalent to ebor- (stem of ebur) ivory + -eus adj. suffix; see -eous

Related formsi·vo·ry·like, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ivory

British Dictionary definitions for ivory


/ (ˈaɪvərɪ, -vrɪ) /

noun plural -ries

  1. a hard smooth creamy white variety of dentine that makes up a major part of the tusks of elephants, walruses, and similar animals
  2. (as modifier)ivory ornaments
a tusk made of ivory
  1. a yellowish-white colour; cream
  2. (as adjective)ivory shoes
a substance resembling elephant tusk
an ornament, etc, made of ivory
black ivory obsolete Black slaves collectively
See also ivories

Derived Formsivory-like, adjective

Word Origin for ivory

C13: from Old French ivurie, from Latin evoreus made of ivory, from ebur ivory; related to Greek elephas ivory, elephant


/ (ˈaɪvərɪ) /


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)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ivory



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for ivory


[ īvə-rē ]

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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.