Pronunciation key

( ek′sə-terik )



[LL. exotericus; Gr. exōterikos, external < compar. of exō, outside < exōterō comparative of exō, outside.].

  1. Adapted to be intelligible such as a doctrine to common comprehension, suitable for the general public.
  2. Comprehensible to the outside world; public, external.
  3. Capable of being quickly comprehended. Not intended for only a chosen few or an inner-circle of disciples or initiates and is suitable for outsiders.
  4. A concept, idea or thing which is understood by the public; common, simple and popular. Compare with esoteric.
  5. Pertains to the outside; External.

See Esoteric.

Also ex´o-ter′i-cal, ex´o-ter′i-cal-ly (adv.) — ex´o-ter′i-cism (n).


  • The American College Dictionary (Random House) ©1949
  • Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia ©1950
  • Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language (College Edition) ©1955
  • Webster's Improved Dictionary and Everyday Encyclopedia ©1956
  • Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary, Comprehensive International Edition ©1976
  • The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition ©1985
  • Further Reading

  • Exoterically
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