• WordNet 3.6
    • adj esoteric confined to and understandable by only an enlightened inner circle "a compilation of esoteric philosophical theories"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Esoteric (Philos) An esoteric doctrine or treatise; esoteric philosophy; esoterics.
    • Esoteric 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."
    • Esoteric Marked by secrecy or privacy; private; select; confidential; as, an esoteric purpose; an esoteric meeting.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • esoteric 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.
    • esoteric In embryology, endoblastic. See the extract.
    • n esoteric An esoteric doctrine.
    • n esoteric A believer in esoteric doctrines.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Esoteric es-o-ter′ik inner: secret: mysterious:
    • adj Esoteric es-o-ter′ik (phil.) taught to a select few—opp. to Exoteric
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Gr. 'eswteriko`s, fr. 'esw`teros inner, interior, comp. fr. 'e`sw in, within, fr. 'es e'is, into, fr. 'en in. See In
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. esōterikosesōterō, inner, a comp. form from esō, within.


In literature:

In fact, that clever saying, "Put all your eggs in one basket," is exoteric, not esoteric.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 11 (of 14)" by Elbert Hubbard
Esoteric education is always more or less of a sham.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great Philosophers, Volume 8" by Elbert Hubbard
It gains, too, by being a temple of the esoteric.
"The Dust Flower" by Basil King
He knew that he never had been a match for her cunning, her esoteric knowledge of China.
"Peter the Brazen" by George F. Worts
I never knew what all this meant, but it gave me a sense of something esoteric and remote.
"A Son of the Middle Border" by Hamlin Garland
He had penetrated through one or two esoteric doors, only to find himself outside them again.
"Ghetto Comedies" by Israel Zangwill
No one had thought of that, because the search had been for something serious and esoteric.
"The Lightning Conductor Discovers America" by C. N. (Charles Norris) Williamson and A. M. (Alice Muriel) Williamson
An esoteric novelist hath it that a pigmy is as good as a giant if he arrive in time.
"Dwellers in the Hills" by Melville Davisson Post
Esoterically, she is the daughter of the exalted God, and she is the soul.
"Sex=The Unknown Quantity" by Ali Nomad
Containing almost entirely esoteric work, it cannot be written.
"Masonic Monitor of the Degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason" by George Thornburgh

In poetry:

"Its tone's esoteric in force -
I trust that I make myself clear?"
MORELL only answered, "Of course,"
While POND slowly muttered, "Hear, hear."
"The Force of Argument" by William Schwenck Gilbert

In news:

Books that cannot be classified often fall between marketing cracks, putting them into an esoteric zone where they may find an audience among the literary-minded and artistic achievers.
No, I wasn't there to steal the esoteric secrets of your great art.
It can be hard to step back and focus on the more esoteric side of architecture when you're worried about your next paycheck.
It's always sheer joy to hear The Esoterics.
Obscura Day, "an international celebration of wondrous, curious, and esoteric places," is March 20.
Women stand to benefit from going out more regularly with the girls to see male strippers—this according to esoteric South Bronx crew the Juggaknots.
The esoteric procedure has drawn fierce protest from Republicans, who say Democrats are trying to avoid accountability.
Esoteric fun with PVC and the Blue Man Group.
Esoteric Astrology as news for week November 8-14, 2012.
Councilman Rick Wood raised the question, and as esoteric as it was, it nevertheless struck us as being somehow important in the long run.
I AM A SUCKER for esoteric statistics.
See a Little Light' may be too esoteric for those not into the'80s punk scene.
N early three years in the making, Steely Dan's "Gaucho" (MCA-6102) is as refined as pop music can get without becoming too esoteric for a mass audience.
Some mixologists have decided they need a break from esoteric spirits and science-lab techniques.
New Jersey's Titus Andronicus shills esoteric punk Saturday, Nov 17.

In science:

We show that three generation vacua are not obtained in this manner, indicating that the geometrical structures underlying the free fermionic models are more esoteric.
On the Number of Chiral Generations in Z2 X Z2 Orbifolds
Over the last few years there has been a very interesting and rather exciting development in what is reputedly one of the most esoteric areas of pure mathematics: algebraic topology.
Persistent Homology for Random Fields and Complexes
We did our best to avoid to be too technical and esoteric in our presentation.
Experimental proposal for testing the Emergence of Environment Induced (EIN) Classical Selection rules with Biological Systems
The conditions of the Theorems 4.4 and 4.5 might seem a bit esoteric.
The Distribution of the Domination Number of a Family of Random Interval Catch Digraphs
This loophole is often misconsidered as esoteric, but we shall see that if not taken into account one can easily come to wrong conclusions.
Cloning Entangled Qubits to Scales One Can See