Definition of esoteric in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌesəˈterik/


Intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest: esoteric philosophical debates
More example sentences
  • The poems show his erudition to be wide, his historical knowledge sometimes esoteric.
  • Every illicit drug now has its own subculture, with its own esoteric knowledge, its own rituals and its own argot.
  • Well in fact that esoteric knowledge is quite an important theme in conspiracy theories.



Pronunciation: /-(ə)lē/
Example sentences
  • Could you sum up in your own words, for the benefit of our readers who are maybe not as esoterically educated, what the central thesis is?
  • Why write esoterically if one is obliged openly to announce the point of one's esotericism?
  • Whatever offensiveness the film once possessed has been diluted by the passage of time; now it simply feels stylish and bittersweet, if esoterically so.


Pronunciation: /ˌesəˈterəˌsizəm/
Example sentences
  • From the 1970s onward, right-wing extremists began to repackage the old ideology of Aryan racism, elitism and force in new cultic guises involving esotericism and Eastern religions.
  • Ultimately though, a show about one painting is bound to invoke cries of art-historical esotericism from those who like their blockbusters with a broader spread.
  • These songs prove him capable of focusing more on visceral appeal and less on stagy esotericism while maintaining his intellectual ambition, and one hopes this album is a stepping stone toward cementing this vision.


Pronunciation: /-ˈterəsist/
Example sentences
  • They are esotericists and are considered heretical by the Khomeinists.
  • May I suggest that he familiarize himself a bit more with the tactics of esotericists - both ancient and modern!
  • It is difficult to pinpoint the precise moment at which the Theosophical Society began to decline and British esotericists began to turn to other Eastern interpreters.


Mid 17th century: from Greek esōterikos, from esōterō, comparative of esō 'within', from es, eis 'into'. Compare with exoteric.

Words that rhyme with esoteric

alphanumeric, atmospheric, chimeric, cleric, climacteric, congeneric, Derek, derrick, Eric, exoteric, ferric, generic, hemispheric, Herrick, Homeric, hysteric, mesmeric, numeric, skerrick, spheric, stratospheric

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: es·o·ter·ic

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