ivy [ahy-vee] ExamplesWord Origin noun, plural i·vies.

  1. Also called English ivy. a climbing vine, Hedera helix, having smooth, shiny, evergreen leaves, small, yellowish flowers, and black berries, grown as an ornamental.
  2. any of various other climbing or trailing plants.


  1. (often initial capital letter) Ivy League(def 2).
  2. New England. mountain laurel.

Origin of ivy before 900; Middle English ivi; Old English ifig; akin to German Efeu Related formsi·vy·like, adjective Ivy [ahy-vee] noun

  1. a female given name.

Examples from the Web for ivy Contemporary Examples of ivy

  • From the religious (‘The Holly and the Ivy’) to the secular (‘The Chipmunk Song’), my top 20.

    Yes, I Like Christmas Music. Stop Laughing.

    Michael Tomasky

    December 24, 2014

  • In Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy, the self-induced, self-absorbed Greek tragedy of Andrew Lohse.

    An Ivy League Frat Boy’s Shallow Repentance

    Stefan Beck

    November 24, 2014

  • Ironically enough this madrassa is run mostly by Ivy League-educated Jews.

    How Aasif Mandvi Became Jon Stewart’s Favorite Jihadi

    Dean Obeidallah

    November 16, 2014

  • Dear White People takes place on the predominantly white campus of a fictional college with an Ivy League-leaning legacy.

    ‘Dear White People’ Is the Race Movie America Didn’t Know It Needed

    Rawiya Kameir

    October 17, 2014

  • The Ivy League and other top schools are producing no more than ‘excellent sheep,’ says William Deresiewicz.

    The Elite American College Pile-On

    Michael S. Roth

    September 15, 2014

  • Historical Examples of ivy

  • The ivy heard them, and she loved the oak-tree more and more.

    A Little Book of Profitable Tales

    Eugene Field

  • Since then the ivy has grown over them to hide their nakedness.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • There it is, see—that grey building yonder, with its windows all smothered in ivy.’

    Abbe Mouret’s Transgression

    Emile Zola

  • This kind of garland is made also of ivy, with small red balls.

    Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 3, August, 1850.


  • Ivy’s face is all puckered, as if she were on the point of tears.

    A Bit O’ Love (Fourth Series Plays)

    John Galsworthy

  • British Dictionary definitions for ivy ivy noun plural ivies

    1. any woody climbing or trailing araliaceous plant of the Old World genus Hedera, esp H. helix, having lobed evergreen leaves and black berry-like fruits
    2. any of various other climbing or creeping plants, such as Boston ivy, poison ivy, and ground ivy

    Derived Formsivy-like, adjectiveWord Origin for ivy Old English īfig; related to Old High German ebah, perhaps to Greek iphuon a plant Word Origin and History for ivy n.

    Old English ifig, from West Germanic *ibakhs (cf. Middle Low German iflof, Dutch eiloof, Old High German ebahewi, German Efeu), of unknown origin; the second element in the Old High German word might be “hay.”

    Ivy bush as a sign of a tavern where wine is served is attested from mid-15c. Ivy League, inspired by the notion of old, ivy-coated walls, dates to 1933 (perhaps originally in reference to football; it consists of Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale).

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