[ prag-muh-tiz-uh m ]
/ ˈpræg məˌtɪz əm /


character or conduct that emphasizes practicality.
a philosophical movement or system having various forms, but generally stressing practical consequences as constituting the essential criterion in determining meaning, truth, or value.

Origin of pragmatism

First recorded in 1860–65; pragmat(ic) + -ism


prag·ma·tis·tic, adjectivean·ti·prag·ma·tism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for pragmatism

British Dictionary definitions for pragmatism

/ (ˈpræɡməˌtɪzəm) /


action or policy dictated by consideration of the immediate practical consequences rather than by theory or dogma
  1. the doctrine that the content of a concept consists only in its practical applicability
  2. the doctrine that truth consists not in correspondence with the facts but in successful coherence with experienceSee also instrumentalism

Derived forms of pragmatism

pragmatist, noun, adjectivepragmatistic, adjective
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

Medical definitions for pragmatism

[ prăgmə-tĭz′əm ]


A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.

Other words from pragmatism

prag•matic (-mătĭk) adj.pragma•tist n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Cultural definitions for pragmatism


An approach to philosophy, primarily held by American philosophers, which holds that the truth or meaning of a statement is to be measured by its practical (i.e., pragmatic) consequences. William James and John Dewey were pragmatists.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.