exoteric

adjective
ex·​o·​ter·​ic | \ ˌek-sə-ˈter-ik How to pronounce exoteric (audio) \

Definition of exoteric

1a : suitable to be imparted to the public the exoteric doctrine — compare esoteric
b : belonging to the outer or less initiate circle
2 : relating to the outside : external

Other Words from exoteric

exoterically \ ˌek-​sə-​ˈter-​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce exoteric (audio) \ adverb

Did you know?

Exoteric derives from Latin exotericus, which is itself from Greek exōterikos, meaning "external," and ultimately from exō, meaning "outside." Exō has a number of offspring in English, including exotic, exonerate, exorbitant, and the combining form exo- or ex- (as in exoskeleton and exobiology). The antonym of exoteric is esoteric, meaning "designed for or understood by the specially initiated alone"; it descends from the Greek word for "within," esō.

First Known Use of exoteric

1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for exoteric

Latin & Greek; Latin exotericus, from Greek exōterikos, literally, external, from exōterō more outside, comparative of exō outside — more at exo-

Learn More About exoteric

Time Traveler for exoteric

Time Traveler

The first known use of exoteric was in 1630

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About exoteric

Dictionary Entries Near exoteric

exostracize

exoteric

exoterica

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for exoteric

Cite this Entry

“Exoteric.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exoteric. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!