Definition of pragmatic in English:


Syllabification: prag·mat·ic
Pronunciation: /praɡˈmadik


1Dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations: a pragmatic approach to politics
More example sentences
  • As I read history, most of the founders were sensible and pragmatic men rather than visionary idealists.
  • This policy was based on two pragmatic considerations, and no guerilla organisation would overlook these.
  • Thus his apparent liberality on this question rested on pragmatic considerations rather than on principle.
practical, matter-of-fact, sensible, down-to-earth, commonsensical, businesslike, having both/one's feet on the ground, hardheaded, no-nonsense
informal hard-nosed
1.1Relating to philosophical or political pragmatism.
More example sentences
  • Twinned to his pragmatic, populist social democracy has been a maddening Trotskyite temperament.
  • Indeed, for a pragmatic libertarian, the political landscape out there is pretty depressing at the moment.
  • He saw the pragmatic account of meaning as a method for clearing up metaphysics and aiding scientific inquiry.
1.2 Linguistics Of or relating to pragmatics.
More example sentences
  • On the contrary, syntax is indispensable for a pragmatic language and pragmatics is indispensable for a syntactic language.
  • This is how what linguists term pragmatic markers have arisen in languages worldwide.
  • Furthermore, they generate the same pragmatic implicatures.


late 16th century (in the senses 'busy, interfering, conceited'): via Latin from Greek pragmatikos 'relating to fact', from pragma 'deed' (from the stem of prattein 'do'). The current sense dates from the mid 19th century.



Pronunciation: /-ik(ə)lē/
More example sentences
  • We have to work realistically and pragmatically with the issue.
  • No one is willing to look at the problem rationally and pragmatically.
  • This appears to be a mere truism and I can't see why the end results are relevant excepting in the case where you support the action and then realise pragmatically that the costs and results are worse than you imagined.

Definition of pragmatic in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day demoralize
Pronunciation: dɪˈmɒrəlʌɪz
cause (someone) to lose confidence or hope