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The term Ivory Tower originates in the Biblical Song of Solomon (7,4), and was later used as an epithet for Mary.
From the 19th century it has been, originally ironically, used to designate a world or atmosphere where intellectuals engage in pursuits that are disconnected from the practical concerns of everyday life. As such, it usually has a pejorative connotation, denoting a willful disconnect from the everyday world; esoteric, over-specialized, or even useless research; and academic elitism, if not outright condescension by those inhabiting the ivory tower. (0.815)