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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
esoteric religious teachings
▪ It brings us into touch with levels of ourself untouched hitherto, and so it has a profound esoteric significance.
▪ It simply feels good to gain even esoteric knowledge, and that is more than enough.
▪ Kelly took dance out of the esoteric realm of swans and princes and tutus.
▪ Pop art directly challenged what was increasingly seen as abstract art's esoteric retreat from the world.
▪ The Bible is no academic tome with an esoteric appeal to those with scholarly minds who can handle abstract concepts.
▪ The efficacy of definitional overlap varies greatly across domains, such that specialist dictionaries may be required for more esoteric or specialist domains.
▪ The number is highly significant in all esoteric teachings.
▪ This, indeed, is the central truth which esoteric training seeks constantly to inculcate into the candidate for esoteric development.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Esoteric \Es`o*ter"ic\ ([e^]s`[-o]*t[e^]"[i^]k), a. [Gr. 'eswteriko`s, fr. 'esw`teros inner, interior, comp. fr. 'e`sw in, within, fr. 'es, e'is, into, fr. 'en in. See In.]

  1. 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.

    Enough if every age produce two or three critics of this esoteric class, with here and there a reader to understand them.
    --De Quincey.

  2. Marked by secrecy or privacy; private; select; confidential; as, an esoteric purpose; an esoteric meeting.


Esoteric \Es`o*ter"ic\, n. (Philos.)

  1. An esoteric doctrine or treatise; esoteric philosophy; esoterics.

  2. One who believes, or is an initiate, in esoteric doctrines or rites.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1650s, from Greek esoterikos "belonging to an inner circle" (Lucian), from esotero "more within," comparative adverb of eso "within," from PIE *ens-o-, suffixed form of *ens, extended form of root *en "in" (see en- (2)). Classically applied to certain popular and non-technical writings of Aristotle, later to doctrines of Pythagoras. In English, first of Pythagorean doctrines.


a. 1 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. 2 Having to do with concepts that are highly theoretical and without obvious practical application; often with mystical or religious connotations. 3 confidential; private. n. 1 An esoteric doctrine or treatise; esoteric philosophy. 2 One who believes, or is an initiate, in esoteric doctrines or rites.


adj. confined to and understandable by only an enlightened inner circle; "a compilation of esoteric philosophical theories" [ant: exoteric]

Esoteric (disambiguation)

Esoteric information refers to Esotericism, the hidden meanings and symbolism of various philosophical, historical, and religious texts. It may also refer to information understood by a small group, which is kept secret for larger groups.

Esoteric may also refer to:

  • Esoteric (band), a British doom metal band
  • Al Haig Trio (Esoteric), an album known as Esoteric when reissued
  • Esoteric (album), an album by Skyfire
  • Esoteric breast massage, signature therapy of alternative health cult Universal Medicine
  • Esoteric (rapper), an American rapper
  • Esoteric programming language
  • The Esoterics (ensemble), a vocal ensemble from Seattle
  • Esoteric Recordings, a record label

Esoterica may refer to:

  • ESO, a British alternative rock band, formerly called esOterica
  • Esoterica (medication), a brand of skin cream
Esoteric (band)

Esoteric is a British funeral doom band from Birmingham founded in 1992.

Esoteric (rapper)

Seamus Ryan (better known by his stage name Esoteric) is a Boston-based underground hip-hop artist. Esoteric is 1/2 of the hip hop duo 7L & Esoteric, 1/3 of CZARFACE and he's also a prominent member of both underground hip-hop collectives Army of the Pharaohs & Demigodz. He started his solo career in 2007.

Esoteric (album)

Esoteric is the fourth studio album by Swedish metal band Skyfire. It was released on 14 September in the United Kingdom, 18 September for the rest of Europe and October 13, 2009 in North America, through Pivotal Rockordings. The cover artwork was made by Pär Olofsson who also created the artwork for other acts such as The Faceless, Psycroptic and Spawn of Possession along with the layout by Erik Olofsson of Cult of Luna. Martin Hanner revealed that the album is a concept album and that "The cover is basically a guy who is being initiated by a cult," he further responded with:

The band was also going for an epic sound inspired by the likes of Symphony X and Bal-Sagoth. A choir and orchestra was said to be added to their overall sound but it is unclear as to what extent they would be used. As for bonus tracks, the band and label decided on releasing material previously unheard by the public from their demo Within Reach. At this time, the band used clean vocals as opposed to growling vocals.

The album has been distributed via Koch Distribution, in cooperation with Listenable Records. The album encountered a delay for the North American release due to a scheduling issue.

Usage examples of "esoteric".

And I thought the way we met, with the FBI vouching for Nield, was something slightly esoteric, a comedy 276 touch like the Acme Quick Service brothers.

Besides the Cathars, the region was, and always has been, a centre of alchemy, and several villages attest to the alchemical preoccupations of its former residents, notably Alet-les-Bains near Limoux, where the houses are still decorated with esoteric symbolism.

For if they were, as we and other researchers believe, collectors of esoteric and alchemical knowledge, then any Templar survival points to some kind of continuation of great secrets through an occult tradition that may still exist to this day.

The man and woman stepped into the room stify side by side as though right out of a familiar, though esoteric, anniversary daguerreotype on a wall.

Her supporters soon dwindled, taking refuge in a form of extreme esotericism appreciated by a handful of esoteric people.

Letters in uncommon languages went to a language identification section, which obtained translators for such esoteric tongues as Ladino, a mixture of Hebrew and 15th-century Spanish spoken only by the 30,000 Sephardic Jews in colonies in Spain, the Balkans, and Latin America.

She knew some of the more esoteric elements of massage: reiki, shiatsu, Astonpatteming.

The great Finnish scholar Professor Simo Parpola, who has done so much to translate the esoteric texts of the Assyrian and Babylonian empires, became intrigued with a perplexing aspect of the carved images found in ancient Assyrian and Babylonian palaces: the hundreds of representations of a mysterious sacred tree attended by strangely attired priests, some wearing a fish skin, some with wings, others with the head of an eagle, but all of them carrying a water bucket in one hand and a pinecone in the other.

Thus the theory of the whoopers and snorters of the cause, in its esoteric as well as in its public aspect, is unsound.

They dont want to be used as an esoteric trysting place any more than we want them to.

Broadly speaking, the Twelvers are considered political quietists as opposed to the Zaydis who favor political activism, and the Ismailis who are identified with esoteric and gnostic religious doctrines.

Christian discipline with that of those philosophers in whose teaching some things were exoteric and some esoteric: and it is enough to say that it was so with some of the disciples of Pythagoras.

Essenes believed in the esoteric as well as the exoteric meanings, 265-l.

Scriptures, the Essenes believed in the Esoteric and Exoteric meaning of the, 265-l.

The difference between the exoteric and the esoteric, formerly known to philosophers - among the Indians as among the Greeks, Persians, and Muslims, in short, wherever one believed in an order of rank and not in equality and equal rights - does not so much consist in this, that the exoteric approach comes from outside and sees, estimates, measures, and judges from the outside, not the inside: what is much more essential is that the exoteric approach sees things from below, the esoteric looks down from above.