from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Intended for or understood by only a particular group: an esoteric cult. See Synonyms at mysterious.
- adj. Of or relating to that which is known by a restricted number of people.
- adj. Confined to a small group: esoteric interests.
- adj. Not publicly disclosed; confidential.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Understood only by a chosen few or an enlightened inner circle.
- adj. Having to do with concepts that are highly theoretical and without obvious practical application; often with mystical or religious connotations.
- adj. Confidential; private.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Designed for, and understood by, the specially initiated alone; not communicated, or not intelligible, to the general body of followers; private; interior; acroamatic; -- said of discussions of technical topics and of the private and more recondite instructions and doctrines of philosophers. Opposed to
- adj. Marked by secrecy or privacy; private; select; confidential.
- n. An esoteric doctrine or treatise; esoteric philosophy; esoterics.
- n. One who believes, or is an initiate, in esoteric doctrines or rites.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Literally, inner: originally applied to certain writings of Aristotle of a scientific, as opposed to a popular, character, and afterward to the secret or acroamatic teachings of Pythagoras; hence, in general, secret; intended to be communicated only to the initiated; profound.
- In embryology, endoblastic. See the extract.
- n. An esoteric doctrine.
- n. A believer in esoteric doctrines.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. confined to and understandable by only an enlightened inner circle
Greek esōterikos, from esōterō, comparative of esō, within; see en in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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). (Wiktionary)