- the hard, white substance, a form of dentin, that makes up the tusks of elephants, walruses, etc.
- dentin in any form
- any substance like ivory in appearance, use, etc.
- the color of ivory; creamy white
- a tusk of an elephant, walrus, etc.
- things made of ivory
- Slang things resembling or suggesting ivory; specif.,
- piano keys
- billiard balls
Origin of ivoryMiddle English ; from Old French yvoire ; from Classical Latin eboreus (adj.) ; from ebur (gen. eboris), ivory ; from Egyptian uncertain or unknown; perhaps bw, elephant, ivory
- of, made of, or like ivory
tickle the ivories
Slang to play the piano: a jocular usage
- a. A hard, smooth, yellowish-white substance composed primarily of dentin that forms the tusks of the elephant.b. A similar substance forming the tusks or teeth of certain other mammals, such as the walrus.
- A tusk, especially an elephant's tusk.
- An article made of ivory.
- A substance resembling ivory.
- A pale or grayish yellow to yellowish white.
- ivoriesa. Music Piano keys.b. Games Dice.c. Slang The teeth.
- Composed or constructed of ivory.
- Of a pale or grayish yellow to yellowish white.
Origin of ivoryMiddle English ivorie, from Old French ivoire, ivurie, from Latin eboreus, of ivory, from ebur, ebor-, ivory, from Coptic ebou, elephant, from Egyptian ’bw.
(countable and uncountable, plural ivories)
- (uncountable) The hard white form of dentine which forms the tusks of elephants, walruses and other animals.
- A creamy white colour, the colour of ivory.
- Something made from or resembling ivory.
- (collective singular or in plural) The teeth.
- (collective singular or in plural) The keys of a piano.
- (slang) A white person.
- Made of ivory.
- Resembling or having the colour of ivory.