From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


1. The hard, white, opaque, fine-grained substance constituting the tusks of the elephant. It is a variety of dentine, characterised by the minuteness and close arrangement of the tubes, as also by their double flexure. It is used in manufacturing articles of ornament or utility.

ivory is the name commercially given not only to the substance constituting the tusks of the elephant, but also to that of the tusks of the hippopotamus and walrus, the hornlike tusk of the narwhal, etc.

2. The tusks themselves of the elephant, etc.

(Science: zoology) ivory gull, a white arctic gull (Larus eburneus).

(Science: botany) ivory nut, any species of Eburna, a genus of marine gastropod shells, having a smooth surface, usually white with red or brown spots. Vegetable ivory, the meat of the ivory nut.

Origin: oe. Ivori, f. Ivoire, fr. L. Eboreus made of ivory, fr. Ebur, eboris, ivory, cf. Skr. Ibha elephant. Cf. Eburnean. A shade of white the color of bleached bones.