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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.

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