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pragmatism Syllabification: prag·ma·tism
Pronunciation: /ˈpraɡməˌtizəm/

Definition of pragmatism in English:


1A pragmatic attitude or policy: ideology was tempered with pragmatism
More example sentences
  • This is indicative of the sentiment-eschewing pragmatism that has been characteristic of a driven performer.
  • Fortunately, democratic politics normally are characterized by pragmatism and compromise, not ideology.
  • For a government that prides itself on pragmatism and prudence, this is a policy that astonishes in its fecklessness and recklessness.
2 Philosophy An approach that assesses the truth of meaning of theories or beliefs in terms of the success of their practical application.
Example sentences
  • The alternative to pragmatism is epistemological realism.
  • In such formulations, there are striking similarities between Critical Theory and American pragmatism.
  • The primacy of the practical is what links American pragmatism and Heidegger's hermeneutic phenomenology.


Mid 19th century: from Greek pragma, pragmat- 'deed' (see pragmatic) + -ism.



Example sentences
  • Politicians are pragmatists by necessity, and a successful politician must subordinate coherent philosophy and ‘the vision thing’ to the exigencies of retaining power.
  • And it may well be that a Court that contains a mix of theoreticians and pragmatists will do better than one that's filled entirely with theoretically or ideologically minded judges.
  • These masters of persuasion, the Hollywood financiers and producers, know what they do has tremendous potential power, and yet they claim to be just pragmatists who want to make good films that make money.


Pronunciation: /ˌpraɡməˈtistik/

Definition of pragmatism in:

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