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esoteric

[es-uh-ter-ik] /ˌɛs əˈtɛr ɪk/
adjective
1.
understood by or meant for only the select few who have special knowledge or interest; recondite:
poetry full of esoteric allusions.
2.
belonging to the select few.
3.
private; secret; confidential.
4.
(of a philosophical doctrine or the like) intended to be revealed only to the initiates of a group:
the esoteric doctrines of Pythagoras.
Origin
1645-1655
1645-55; < Greek esōterikós inner, equivalent to esṓter(os) inner + -ikos -ic
Related forms
esoterically, adverb
nonesoteric, adjective
nonesoterically, adverb
unesoteric, adjective
Can be confused
esoteric, exoteric.
Synonyms
1. abstruse, arcane, cryptic, enigmatic.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for unesoteric

esoteric

/ˌɛsəʊˈtɛrɪk/
adjective
1.
restricted to or intended for an enlightened or initiated minority, esp because of abstruseness or obscurity: an esoteric cult Compare exoteric
2.
difficult to understand; abstruse: an esoteric statement
3.
not openly admitted; private: esoteric aims
Derived Forms
esoterically, adverb
esotericism, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Greek esōterikos, from esōterō inner
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for unesoteric

esoteric

adj.

1650s, from Greek esoterikos "belonging to an inner circle," from esotero "more within," comparative adverb of eso "within," related to eis "into," en "in" (see en- (2)).

In English, originally of Pythagorean doctrines. According to Lucian, the division of teachings into exoteric and esoteric originated with Aristotle.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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