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[prag-mat-ik] /prægˈmæt ɪk/
adjective, Also, pragmatical (for defs 1, 2, 5).
of or relating to a practical point of view or practical considerations.
Philosophy. of or relating to pragmatism (def 2).
of or relating to pragmatics (def 1, 2).
treating historical phenomena with special reference to their causes, antecedent conditions, and results.
of or relating to the affairs of state or community.
  1. busy; active.
  2. officious; meddlesome; interfering.
  3. dogmatic; opinionated.
Archaic. an officious or meddlesome person.
Origin of pragmatic
1580-90; < Latin prāgmaticus < Greek prāgmatikós practical, equivalent to prāgmat- (stem of prâgma) deed, state business (derivative of prā́ssein to do, fare; see practic) + -ikos -ic
Related forms
pragmaticality, pragmaticalness, noun
pragmatically, adverb
antipragmatic, adjective
antipragmatical, adjective
antipragmatically, adverb
nonpragmatic, adjective, noun
nonpragmatical, adjective
nonpragmatically, adverb
unpragmatic, adjective
unpragmatical, adjective
unpragmatically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pragmatical
Historical Examples
  • Do you side with Wolfe and Heyne and that pragmatical fellow Vico?

    The Caxtons, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • But this is pragmatical, and putting an imaginary for a real state of things.

    Winterslow William Hazlitt
  • Some kinds of criticism are as much too insipid as others are too pragmatical.

    Table-Talk William Hazlitt
  • But he was interfered with by the pragmatical, imbecile, and conceited Congress.

    Life And Times Of Washington, Volume 2 John Frederick Schroeder
  • He is tedious, he is pragmatical, and—I affirm it in all sympathy and sorrow—he is crazed.

    Henry Brocken

    Walter J. de la Mare
  • But man is a pragmatical, foolish creature; and the more we look into him, the more we must despise him—Lords of the creation!

    Clarissa, Volume 7 Samuel Richardson
  • The nurse came in response to Mr. Crellan's summons: a sharp-featured, pragmatical woman of forty-five.

    Chronicles of Martin Hewitt Arthur Morrison
  • In this dread it was very evident that his companions largely participated, not excepting the pragmatical clerk.

    Rattlin the Reefer Edward Howard
  • Have I been one of those interfering, pragmatical fathers who cannot let their children enjoy themselves their own way?

    Hard Cash Charles Reade
  • King was the defender of Chichester during Waller's attack and the latter described him as a "pragmatical malignant."

    Seaward Sussex Edric Holmes
British Dictionary definitions for pragmatical


advocating behaviour that is dictated more by practical consequences than by theory or dogma
(philosophy) of or relating to pragmatism
involving everyday or practical business
of or concerned with the affairs of a state or community
(rare) interfering or meddlesome; officious
Also (for senses 3, 5) pragmatical
Derived Forms
pragmaticality, noun
pragmatically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin prāgmaticus, from Greek prāgmatikos from pragma act, from prattein to do
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pragmatical

1590s, "concerned with practical results," from Latin pragmaticus (see pragmatic) + -al (1). Related: Pragmatically.



1610s, "meddlesome, impertinently busy," short for earlier pragmatical, or else from Middle French pragmatique (15c.), from Latin pragmaticus "skilled in business or law," from Greek pragmatikos "fit for business, active, business-like; systematic," from pragma (genitive pragmatos) "a deed, act; that which has been done; a thing, matter, affair," especially an important one; also a euphemism for something bad or disgraceful; in plural, "circumstances, affairs" (public or private), often in a bad sense, "trouble," literally "a thing done," from stem of prassein/prattein "to do, act, perform" (see practical). Meaning "matter-of-fact" is from 1853. In some later senses from German pragmatisch.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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