A place or attitude of retreat, especially preoccupation with lofty, remote, or intellectual considerations rather than practical everyday life.
A condition or place, as academia, regarded as isolated or withdrawn from the practical affairs of society.
Origin of ivory-tower
First attested in English in a translation of Laughter by French philosopher Henri Bergson (translation 1911 by Frederick Rothwell and Cloudesley Shovell Henry Brereton). Term popularized in The Ivory Tower (1917) by Henry James, though used in different sense (millionaires, not professors).