esoteric

[ es-uh-ter-ik ]
/ ˌɛs əˈtɛr ɪk /

adjective

understood by or meant for only the select few who have special knowledge or interest; recondite: poetry full of esoteric allusions.
belonging to the select few.
private; secret; confidential.
(of a philosophical doctrine or the like) intended to be revealed only to the initiates of a group: the esoteric doctrines of Pythagoras.

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Origin of esoteric

1645–55; <Greek esōterikós inner, equivalent to esṓter(os) inner + -ikos-ic

OTHER WORDS FROM esoteric

es·o·ter·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·es·o·ter·ic, adjectivenon·es·o·ter·i·cal·ly, adverbun·es·o·ter·ic, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH esoteric

esoteric , exoteric.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for esoteric

  • Esoterically understood, his novel teaches a doctrine of mysticism, intuitionalism, and materialism combined.

    Balzac|Frederick Lawton
  • M. Bourgeat hazards the suggestion that esoterically it is the symbol of evolution—of which it carries none of the signs.

  • Esoterically, she is the daughter of the exalted God, and she is the soul.

  • He desired that the Kabbala be taught only in secret (esoterically), and be not expounded in public.

British Dictionary definitions for esoteric

esoteric
/ (ˌɛsəʊˈtɛrɪk) /

adjective

restricted to or intended for an enlightened or initiated minority, esp because of abstruseness or obscurityan esoteric cult Compare exoteric
difficult to understand; abstrusean esoteric statement
not openly admitted; privateesoteric aims

Derived forms of esoteric

esoterically, adverbesotericism, noun

Word Origin for esoteric

C17: from Greek esōterikos, from esōterō inner
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012