From Ancient Greek ἐσωτερικός (esōterikós, “belonging to an inner circle”), from ἐσωτέρω (esōtérō, “further inside”), comparative of ἔσω (ésō, “within”), from ἐς (es), εἰς (eis, “into”) (esoteric originally referred to the secret teachings of Greek philosophers, versus public or exoteric ones).
esoteric (comparative more esoteric, superlative most esoteric)
- Intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest, or an enlightened inner circle.
- The writing in this manual is very esoteric; I’d need a degree in engineering just to understand it!
- Having to do with concepts that are highly theoretical and without obvious practical application; often with mystical or religious connotations.
- Confidential; private.
- an esoteric purpose
- an esoteric meeting
- (understood only by a chosen few or an enlightened inner circle): arcane, recondite
- (highly theoretical; not practical): cerebral
- (confidential; private): secretive
Understood only by a chosen few or an enlightened inner circle.
- Italian: esoterico (it) m
- Japanese: 秘儀の (ひぎの, higi no), 奥義の (おうぎの, ōgi no)
- Lithuanian: ezoterinis m
- Macedonian: езотеричен m (ezotéričen), езотерична f (ezotérična), езотерично n (ezotérično), езотерични pl (ezotérični)
- Norwegian: esoterisk (no)
- Persian: خواصفهم (xavâs-fahm), غامض (fa) (ğâmez)
- Polish: ezoteryczny (pl) m, tajemny (pl) m
- Portuguese: esotérico (pt)
- Romanian: ezoteric (ro)
- Russian: эзотери́ческий (ru) (ezoteríčeskij)
- Serbo-Croatian: ezotèričan (sh)
- Spanish: esotérico (es) m
- Swedish: esoterisk (sv)
- Turkish: ezoterik (tr), içrek (tr), bâtınî (tr) (archaic)
having to do with concepts that are highly theoretical
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Translations to be checked
esoteric (plural esoterics)
- An esoteric doctrine or treatise; esoteric philosophy.
- One who believes, or is an initiate, in esoteric doctrines or rites.