American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Not confined to an inner circle of disciples or initiates.
- adj. Comprehensible to or suited to the public; popular.
- adj. Of or relating to the outside; external.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- External; open; suitable for or communicated to the general public; popular: originally applied to the public teachings of Aristotle and other ancient philosophers, and sometimes used in a more special sense as opposed to fancied or real esoteric doctrines, See esoteric.
- Pertaining to the outside; holding an external relation; publicly instructed.
- In embryology, ectoblastic. See extract under esoteric.
- n. One admitted only to exoteric instruction; one of the uninitiated.
- adj. Suitable to be imparted to the public without secrecy or other reserves
- adj. by extension Accessible; capable of being readily or fully comprehended; or, having an obvious application
- adj. rare Public or popular; having wide currency
- adj. obsolete External
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. External; public; suitable to be imparted to the public; hence, capable of being readily or fully comprehended; -- opposed to
esoteric, or secret.
- adj. suitable for the general public
- From Latin exōtericus, from Ancient Greek ἐξωτερικός (eksōterikos, "external"), adjectival form of ἐξώτερος (eksōteros, "outside"). (Wiktionary)
- Latin exōtericus, external, from Greek exōterikos, from exōterō, comparative of exō, outside; see exo-. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“For over 50 years (including in the Foreword to my own upcoming book) Smith has distinguished between what he calls the exoteric (outer) aspects of religion and the esoteric (inner).”
“On the other hand the doctrines of what KÃ»kai classified as exoteric are traced to either what the historical buddha, Åakyamuni, preached or what the celestial buddhas are preaching in the heavenly dimensions.”
“What we may call the exoteric basis of Numaism was a ritual of many ceremonies connected with home-life and agriculture, and designed to keep alive a feeling for the sacredness of these.”
“These outdoor talks were called exoteric, and there gradually grew up esoteric lessons, which were for the rich or luxurious and the dainty.”
“Churches by John while he yet remained in the body (adhuc in corpore constituto); as (one) Papias by name, of Hierapolis, a beloved disciple of John, has related in his exoteric, that is, in his last five books (in exotericis, id est, in extremis quinque libris); but he wrote down the Gospel at the dictation of John, correctly (descripsit vero evangelium dictante Johanne recte).”
“The Egyptian theology, or doctrine of the gods, was of two kinds, -- esoteric and exoteric, that is, an interior theology for the initiated, and an exterior theology for the uninitiated.”
“Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all best known as exoteric traditions, each with the full array of formal worship, religious law, sacred books, and codes of morality.”
“Strauss proudly believed in writing at two levels, the "exoteric", which itself would be the layer which contained his own lies, while the deeper truths were to be gleaned by not ignoring any single hinted-at interruption.”
“The same piece encouraged a leading Jungian to sermonize in rotund eighteenth-century style on the esoteric, as opposed to the exoteric, meaning of the Sea-God Manannan's Crane Bag.”
“/S/a@nkara is anxious again and again to point out at length, viz. that the greater part of the work contains a kind of exoteric doctrine only, ever tending to mislead the student who does not keep in view what its nature is.”
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