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1. Not confined to an inner circle of disciples or initiates.
2. Comprehensible to or suited to the public; popular.
3. Of or relating to the outside; external.

[Latin exōtericus, external, from Greek exōterikos, from exōterō, comparative of exō, outside; see exo-.]

ex′o·ter′i·cal·ly adv.


(ˌɛksəʊˈtɛrɪk) or


1. intelligible to or intended for more than a select or initiated minority: an exoteric account of a philosophical doctrine.
2. external; exterior
[C17: from Latin exōtericus external, from Greek exōterikos, from exōterō further outside; see exo-]
ˌexoˈterically adv
ˌexoˈteriˌcism n


(ˌɛk səˈtɛr ɪk)

1. suitable for communication to the general public.
2. not limited to the inner or select circle, as of disciples.
3. pertaining to the outside; external.
[1645–55; < Late Latin exōtericus external < Greek exōterikós=exṓter(ō) further out (comp. of éxō; see exo-) + -ikos -ic]
ex`o•ter′i•cal•ly, adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.exoteric - suitable for the general public; "writings of an exoteric nature"
public - not private; open to or concerning the people as a whole; "the public good"; "public libraries"; "public funds"; "public parks"; "a public scandal"; "public gardens"; "performers and members of royal families are public figures"
esoteric - confined to and understandable by only an enlightened inner circle; "a compilation of esoteric philosophical theories"
References in periodicals archive ?
The secrecy, the separation of the "internal way" (esoterism) known only to the initiated and those knowing the truth, and the "external way" (exoterism) can also be seen as a Sufi inspiration and to a lesser extent a Shi'a one.
(34) There is no question here of any divergence of interpretation; the difference between exoterism and esoterism (35) as regards such statements as these is in depth and fullness of interpretation, as between one who takes them 'as a manner of speaking', allowing them to pass over his head, and one who takes them with all seriousness, meditating deeply upon them, and following them up to their imperative conclusions.
This precept is very interestingly applied to the immediate context--that is, to the homegrown tyrants, the Bandarshahs of Islamic exoterism. Salih takes Islamic exoterism to task for its use of the authority of religious dogma to impose its will.