I"vo*ry (?), n.; pl. Ivories (#). [OE. ivori, F. ivoire, fr. L. eboreus made of ivory, fr. ebur, eboris, ivory, cf. Skr. ibha elephant. Cf. Eburnean.]
The hard, white, opaque, fine-grained substance constituting the tusks of the elephant. It is a variety of dentine, characterized 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.
The tusks themselves of the elephant, etc.
Any carving executed in ivory.
Teeth; as, to show one's ivories.
Ivory black. See under Black, n. -- Ivory gull Zool., a white Arctic gull (Larus eburneus). -- Ivory nut Bot., the nut of a species of palm, the Phytephas macroarpa, often as large as a hen's egg. When young the seed contains a fluid, which gradually hardness into a whitish, close-grained, albuminous substance, resembling the finest ivory in texture and color, whence it is called vegetable ivory. It is wrought into various articles, as buttons, chessmen, etc. The palm is found in New Grenada. A smaller kind is the fruit of the Phytephas microarpa. The nuts are known in commerce as Corosso nuts. -- Ivory palm Bot., the palm tree which produces ivory nuts. -- Ivory shell Zool., 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. See Ivory nut (above).
© Webster 1913.