Does anyone here know of a suitable verb for making something "exoteric"? I am trying to find a word that adequately encapsulates "making an idea more accessible to the broader community." I like the adjective "exoteric" for this, but am wondering if there is a verb that can be used instead.

(Note, I use "make accessible" quite a bit in this sort of situation, which is why I am looking for a succinct verb that I can use instead.)

  • 'Ameliorate' isn't quite right. You want a verbal form of 'user-friendly', but 'user befriend' and 'user-friendlify' don't exist. Jul 27, 2020 at 16:03
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    'exoteric' is not very exoteric.
    – Mitch
    Jul 27, 2020 at 16:03
  • Promulgating? Jul 27, 2020 at 16:16
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    @EdwinAshworth How is "ameliorate" related to this question? The definition that I know is "make (something bad or unsatisfactory) better."
    – user392938
    Jul 27, 2020 at 16:33
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    @John B. 'Popularise' obviously fits, and is given in the duplicate. The fact that OP uses 'make accessible' slightly suggests (confusingly to me) a teaching, education context (rather than a general societal context), where 'popularise' wouldn't be suitable. Jul 27, 2020 at 16:49

3 Answers 3


Please note that your question is a little vague, so some of these might have slightly different meanings from the one you intended; I urge you to carefully read the definitions to ensure that the words are applicable to your context.

"Vulgarize," "popularize," "propagate," and many other synonyms would solve your problem. Note: if by "make accessible" you simply mean "to spread an idea," you can use all of these words (and many of their synonyms); if you mean "to make an idea less complicated so the masses can understand," I would use the first two. To "make [something] exoteric" would be to make it less complicated to teach it to the general public, so I tried to find words with that specific meaning (only "vulgarize" and "popularize" accomplish this—not "propagate").

The applicable definition of "vulgarize" (from HERE is: "make commonplace or less subtle or complex."

The applicable definition of "popularize" (from HERE is "make (something technical, scientific, or academic) accessible or interesting to the general public by presenting it in a readily understandable form."

The applicable definition of "propagate" (from HERE is "spread and promote (an idea, theory, etc.) widely."

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    Vulgarize has some implications that the OP probably wants to avoid (which the quoted definition does not fully bring out); propagate doesn't capture the idea of making something easier to understand by the uninitiated, which is the essence of making something more exoteric. Popularize is probably the best candidate, except that it implies that the intention is to make the material in question popular (i.e. very widely known), while what the OP has in mind may be only making it accessible to a somewhat wider, but still not very wide, audience.
    – jsw29
    Jul 27, 2020 at 16:57
  • @jsw29 I agree with you about "propagate." That is why I included the "note" at the beginning. Also, you bring up a good point about "vulgarize." Personally, I would use "popularize" (for the reasons you mentioned). One thing that I wasn't completely sure about was what Decapitated Soul meant by "make accessible," which was why I tried to find words that meant "make exoteric." I included "propagate" just in case if they simply meant "to spread an idea." Thanks for your comment, it was really helpful.
    – user392938
    Jul 27, 2020 at 17:09

As an American, the word exoteric was new to me -- I had to look it up -- so much for making things easier.

I would use a word like: simplify, decipher, explain, resolve, clarify for the broader community. If I weren't worried about the pejorative sense, I would use dumb down, or even mansplaining.



Popularise/popularize (v.)

2c. transitive. To present (a technical or specialized subject) in a generally intelligible or appealing form. Occasionally intransitive.

1873 J. Earle Philol. Eng. Tongue (ed. 2) xii. 620 Engaged in the diffusion of knowledge, in popularising history or science.

1991 R. Ashton G. H. Lewes A Life iii. 45 Lewes, for the first time, gives evidence of his powers of popularizing, of making difficult, even technical, arguments palatable to the layman.

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