Vegetable ivory
Ivory I"vo*ry ([imac]"v[-o]*r[y^]), n.; pl. {Ivories}. [OE. ivori, F. ivoire, fr. L. eboreus made of ivory, fr. ebur, eboris, ivory, cf. Skr. ibha elephant. Cf. {Eburnean}.] [1913 Webster] 1. 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. [1913 Webster]

Note: 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. [1913 Webster]

2. The tusks themselves of the elephant, etc. [1913 Webster]

3. Any carving executed in ivory. --Mollett. [1913 Webster]

4. pl. Teeth; as, to show one's ivories. [Slang] [1913 Webster]

{Ivory black}. See under {Black}, n.

{Ivory gull} (Zo["o]l.), 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} (Zo["o]l.), 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). [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vegetable ivory — Vegetable Veg e*ta*ble, a. [F. v[ e]g[ e]table growing, capable of growing, formerly also, as a noun, a vegetable, from L. vegetabilis enlivening, from vegetare to enliven, invigorate, quicken, vegetus enlivened, vigorous, active, vegere to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Vegetable ivory — also known as corozo, is a name used for the tagua nut in the South American rainforest. When dried out, it can be carved as an ivory replica. Both humanitarians and environmentalists can appreciate it, for its use stimulates the economies in So …   Wikipedia

  • vegetable ivory — Ivory I vo*ry ([imac] v[ o]*r[y^]), n.; pl. {Ivories}. [OE. ivori, F. ivoire, fr. L. eboreus made of ivory, fr. ebur, eboris, ivory, cf. Skr. ibha elephant. Cf. {Eburnean}.] [1913 Webster] 1. The hard, white, opaque, fine grained substance… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • vegetable ivory — n. 1. the fully ripe, ivorylike seed of a South American palm (Phytelephas macrocarpa) used to make buttons, ornaments, etc. 2. the shell of the coquilla nut …   English World dictionary

  • vegetable ivory — ivory (def. 9). [1835 45] * * * …   Universalium

  • vegetable ivory — noun nutlike seed of a South American palm; the hard white shell takes a high polish and is used for e.g. buttons • Syn: ↑ivory nut, ↑apple nut • Hypernyms: ↑seed • Part Holonyms: ↑ivory palm, ↑ivory nut palm, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • vegetable ivory — noun Date: 1842 1. the hard white opaque endosperm of the ivory nut that takes a high polish and is used as a substitute for ivory 2. ivory nut …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • vegetable ivory — noun a hard white material obtained from the endosperm of the ivory nut …   English new terms dictionary

  • vegetable ivory — veg′etable i′vory n. pln the hard endosperm of the ivory nut, used to make buttons, ornamentation, etc • Etymology: 1835–45 …   From formal English to slang

  • vegetable ivory — /vɛdʒtəbəl ˈaɪvəri/ (say vejtuhbuhl uyvuhree) noun See ivory (def. 8) …   Australian English dictionary

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