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adjective prag·mat·ic \prag-ˈma-tik\

Simple Definition of pragmatic

  • : dealing with the problems that exist in a specific situation in a reasonable and logical way instead of depending on ideas and theories

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of pragmatic

  1. 1 archaic a (1) :  busy (2) :  officious b :  opinionated

  2. 2 :  relating to matters of fact or practical affairs often to the exclusion of intellectual or artistic matters :  practical as opposed to idealistic <pragmatic men of power have had no time or inclination to deal with … social morality — K. B. Clark>

  3. 3 :  relating to or being in accordance with philosophical pragmatism(see pragmatism)

pragmatic noun
pragmatically play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of pragmatic in a sentence

  1. … their pragmatic successors like Benjamin Franklin were concerned with lightning's … power but not its thrilling scenic value. —John Updike, New York Review of Books, 15 Aug. 2002

  2. … NASA has two coexisting personae with vastly distinct characters: the somewhat romantically motivated manned space program, and the rather more pragmatic unmanned program. —David H. Freedman, Discover, July 1994

  3. pragmatic enough to have held on to their day jobs for years after they were putting out records. —Chris Mundy, Rolling Stone, 16 Sept. 1993

  4. … and her mysticism never failed to exasperate her pragmatic, mountain-climbing daughter. —Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses, 1989

  5. His pragmatic view of public education comes from years of working in city schools.

  6. <a pragmatic man, not given to grand, visionary schemes>

Variants of pragmatic

also pragmatical play \-ti-kəl\

Origin of pragmatic

Latin pragmaticus skilled in law or business, from Greek pragmatikos, from pragmat-, pragma deed, from prassein to do — more at practical

First Known Use: 1616

Seen and Heard

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to dishevel or rumple

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