Esoteric Definition

Intended for or understood by only a chosen few, as an inner group of disciples or initiates.
Webster's New World
Relating to or being a small group with specialized knowledge or interests.
An esoteric circle.
American Heritage
Beyond the understanding or knowledge of most people; abstruse.
Webster's New World
Confidential; private; withheld.
An esoteric plan.
Webster's New World

Having to do with concepts that are highly theoretical and without obvious practical application; often with mystical or religious connotations.

One that is esoteric.
American Heritage
Esoteric matters; esoterica.
American Heritage

Origin of Esoteric

  • From Ancient Greek ἐσωτερικός (esōterikos, “belonging to an inner circle”), from ἐσωτέρω (esōterō, “further inside”), comparative of ἔσω (esō, “within”), from ἐς (es), εἰς (eis, “into”) (esoteric originally referred to the secret teachings of Greek philosophers, versus public or exoteric ones).

    From Wiktionary

  • Greek esōterikos from esōterō comparative of esō within en in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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