from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Intended for or understood by only a small group, especially one with specialized knowledge or interests: synonym: mysterious.
  • adjective Relating to or being a small group with specialized knowledge or interests.
  • adjective Not known by or suitable for the public; private.
  • noun One that is esoteric.
  • noun Esoteric matters; esoterica.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun An esoteric doctrine.
  • noun A believer in esoteric doctrines.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An esoteric doctrine or treatise; esoteric philosophy; esoterics.
  • noun One who believes, or is an initiate, in esoteric doctrines or rites.
  • adjective 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 exoteric.
  • adjective Marked by secrecy or privacy; private; select; confidential.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Understood only by a chosen few or an enlightened inner circle.
  • adjective Having to do with concepts that are highly theoretical and without obvious practical application; often with mystical or religious connotations.
  • adjective Confidential; private.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective confined to and understandable by only an enlightened inner circle


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Greek esōterikos, from esōterō, comparative of esō, within; see en in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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).


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  • Esoteric is like gefilte fish to the Dalai Lama.

    --Rodger Kamenetz, 1994, The Jew in the Lotus

    May 28, 2008

  • Christopher Lee Words are words that pertain to Christopher Lee and the films of Christopher Lee, or could have or have been used by Christopher Lee in said films, and when pronounced by Christopher Lee, sound especially good.

    "Esoteric" is a Christopher Lee Word.

    August 19, 2008

  • The beauty of this word is that it has an almost onomatopoeic quality in that it is what it describes.

    August 21, 2008

  • –adjective

    1. Intended for or understood by only a particular group: an esoteric cult. See Synonyms at mysterious.

    2. Of or relating to that which is known by a restricted number of people.

    3. Confined to a small group: esoteric interests.

    4. Not publicly disclosed; confidential.

    March 12, 2011

  • Intended for a certain group. Otherwise confidential hmm.

    And I don't like acrynyms(sp?) LOL

    March 17, 2011

  • inner circle

    August 8, 2012

  • Machine Learning is an estoric subject.

    February 18, 2013