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esoteric


This word comes from Greek and literally means "belonging to an inner circle of people."

Something esoteric is deep, obscure, and mysterious to most people, but understood by a small group of intellectual people.

Pronunciation:
ESS uh TAIR ick

Part of speech:
Adjective.
(Adjectives are describing words, like "large" or "late."
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in "an esoteric thing."
2. After a linking verb, as in "It was esoteric.")

Other forms worth knowing:
The adverb is "esoterically."
For the noun, pick "esoterism" or "esotericism."
If you're talking about a whole collection of details, products, or other things that are esoteric, you can call that collection "esoterica" (ESS oh TAIR ick uh).

How to use it:
Talk about esoteric details, trivia, and information; esoteric references and quotations; esoteric topics, subjects, studies, and disciplines; esoteric films, music, and artwork; esoteric theories and knowledge; esoteric discussions and arguments; an entire esoteric field, industry, or world, etc.

examples:
The documentary Wordplay illuminates the esoteric depths of crossword-solving tournaments.

His shelves overflow with esoterica: books on microchemistry and ornithology, albums by indie bands only twenty people have heard of.



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