material derived from the tusks and teeth of animals

Ivory is a hard, white material from the tusks (traditionally from elephants) and teeth of animals, that consists mainly of dentine, one of the physical structures of teeth and tusks. The chemical structure of the teeth and tusks of mammals is the same, regardless of the species of origin, but ivory contains structures of mineralised collagen. The trade in certain teeth and tusks other than elephant is well established and widespread; therefore, "ivory" can correctly be used to describe any mammalian teeth or tusks of commercial interest which are large enough to be carved or scrimshawed.


  • The king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold.
    • 1 Kings 10:18, 2 Chronicles 9:17 (KJV)
  • All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.
    • Psalm 45:8 (KJV)
    • "All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad." (NIV)
  • His belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.
    • Song of Songs 5:14 (KJV)
    • "His body is like polished ivory decorated with lapis lazuli." (NIV) "His body is as ivory work overlaid with sapphires." (ASV)
  • Thy neck is as a tower of ivory.
    • Song of Songs 7:4 (KJV)
  • And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the LORD.
    • Amos 3:15 (KJV)
  • As when some stately trappings are decreed
    To grace a monarch on his bounding steed,
    A nymph in Caria or Mæonia bred,
    Stains the pure ivory with a lively red;
    With equal lustre various colours vie,
    The shining whiteness, and the Tyrian dye:
    So great Atrides! show’d thy sacred blood,
    As down thy snowy thigh distill’d the streaming flood.
  • Like two wands of ivory
    Tipp’d with gold for awful kings.
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