Definition of Ivy League in US English:

Ivy League

noun

  • A group of long-established colleges and universities in the eastern US having high academic and social prestige. It includes Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell, Brown, and the University of Pennsylvania.

    as modifier ‘an Ivy League school’
    • ‘The financial reward for academic activities is enormous, as children who get into the ‘right’ preschool can go on to top-class primary and secondary schools, and hopefully an Ivy League university.’
    • ‘According to the survey, more than half of all Americans view good grades and test scores as the most important qualifications for gaining admission to an Ivy League university.’
    • ‘I have a BA from a top-ten university and an Ivy League MBA.’
    • ‘Yale University set an Ivy League record by accepting only 8.6 percent of its 21,099 applicants.’
    • ‘A lot of Koreans dream about sending their kids to an Ivy League University, so what better preparation, they think, is there than a North American high school?’

Origin

1930s: with reference to the ivy traditionally growing over the walls of the university buildings.

Pronunciation

Ivy League

/ˈˌīvē ˈlēɡ//ˈˌaɪvi ˈliɡ/