adjective Also prag·mat·i·cal (for defs 1, 2, 5).
  1. of or relating to a practical point of view or practical considerations.
  2. Philosophy. of or relating to pragmatism(def 2).
  3. of or relating to pragmatics(def 1, 2).
  4. treating historical phenomena with special reference to their causes, antecedent conditions, and results.
  5. of or relating to the affairs of state or community.
  6. Archaic.
    1. busy; active.
    2. officious; meddlesome; interfering.
    3. dogmatic; opinionated.
  1. pragmatic sanction.
  2. 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 formsprag·mat·i·cal·i·ty, prag·mat·i·cal·ness, nounprag·mat·i·cal·ly, adverban·ti·prag·mat·ic, adjectivean·ti·prag·mat·i·cal, adjectivean·ti·prag·mat·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·prag·mat·ic, adjective, nounnon·prag·mat·i·cal, adjectivenon·prag·mat·i·cal·ly, adverbun·prag·mat·ic, adjectiveun·prag·mat·i·cal, adjectiveun·prag·mat·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pragmatically

Contemporary Examples of pragmatically

Historical Examples of pragmatically

  • "You are always so pragmatically and priggishly correct," she said.

    The Mountebank

    William J. Locke

  • I settled the dispute by pragmatically distinguishing the senses.

  • Pragmatically, then, the abstract word 'design' is a blank cartridge.


    William James

  • The only way to get forward with our notion is to treat it pragmatically.


    William James

  • She could see no meaning in treating as 'not true' a notion that was pragmatically so successful.


    William James

British Dictionary definitions for pragmatically


  1. advocating behaviour that is dictated more by practical consequences than by theory or dogma
  2. philosophy of or relating to pragmatism
  3. involving everyday or practical business
  4. of or concerned with the affairs of a state or community
  5. rare interfering or meddlesome; officious
Also (for senses 3, 5): pragmatical
Derived Formspragmaticality, nounpragmatically, adverb

Word Origin for pragmatic

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

Word Origin and History for 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