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OTHER WORDS FROM pragmatistan·ti·prag·ma·tist, noun, adjective
Words nearby pragmatist
What does pragmatist mean?
A pragmatist is a person who deals with problems or situations by focusing on practical approaches and solutions—ones that will work in practice, as opposed to being ideal in theory.
The word pragmatist is often contrasted with the word idealist, which refers to a person who acts based on high principles or ideals. A pragmatist, on the other hand, acts based on real-world conditions or circumstances—they consider what can realistically be done as opposed to the best theoretical course of action. This approach is called pragmatism.
More specifically, pragmatism can refer to the philosophical movement or approach that emphasizes practical consequences in the determination of meaning, truth, or value. A philosopher who adheres to this can also be called a pragmatist.
Pragmatist can also be used as an adjective to describe such a philosophy or action. The related adjective form pragmatic means practical, especially when making decisions.
Example: We need a candidate who’s a pragmatist and can get things done in the real world—not some idealist who will never compromise.
Where does pragmatist come from?
The first records of the word pragmatist come from around 1640. It ultimately derives from the Greek pragmatikós, meaning “practical,” from pragma, meaning “act,” from prā́ssein, “to do.” The words practical and praxis derive from the same root.
People considered pragmatists focus on the realistic options or courses of action. People considered idealists typically try to achieve the best-case scenario—the one based on their ideals. Of course, many people navigate life with a balance of pragmatism and idealism: sometimes they compromise, and sometimes they stick to their principles no matter what. In general, a close synonym for pragmatist is practical person.
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How is pragmatist used in real life?
Pragmatist is commonly used in a positive way to refer to people who make choices or actions that are considered practical and reasonable. It’s often used in the context of politics.
The optimist in me hopes we are living in a "A New Hope" and "Return of the Jedi" but the pragmatist in me is expecting "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Revenge of the Sith."
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) June 8, 2020
Analytical Philosopher: "Can we really know?"
Continental Philosopher: "What does it all mean?"
Scientist: "Can I measure it?"
Pragmatist: "How much are you paying me to answer?"
— Asadullah Ali (@ProjectAndalus) May 28, 2020
Try using pragmatist!
Which of the following words is LEAST like to describe a person considered a pragmatist?
Example sentences from the Web for pragmatist
This provisional government was made up of western-educated pragmatists who knew better than to allow a band of radicals, despite their great appeal and influence among the youth, take charge of the country.The U.S. Capitol Attacked Reminded Me of the 1979 US Embassy Seizure and What Happens When Extremism Wins|Roya Hakakian|January 19, 2021|Time
Destined neither for pragmatists nor for wallflowers, his designs were all about making a big entrance — sometimes very literally.Pierre Cardin, legendary fashion designer and licensing genius, dies at 98|Bernhard Warner|December 29, 2020|Fortune
She’s a lightning rod, and she’s running against low-key Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush, a former county commissioner and state House representative from Steamboat Springs, who is known as a pragmatist and an environmentalist.
She’s dedicated and embraces bold ideas, and as a creative pragmatist, she’s grounded in the reality of the steps to deliver those ideas.
Barack Obama, running as a conciliatory pragmatist in 2008, did even better with some 50 percent.
A pragmatist and a moderate, she serves as a role model for other Blue Dog women running for election in Red states.Never Bet Against Senator Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota’s Rising Star|Sandra McElwaine|January 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In a flash, the 2016 contender has seen his reputation slide from straight-talking pragmatist to partisan bully.
He's a conservative, but not a purist; he's a conviction politician—and a pragmatist too.A Thinner Chris Christie Still Faces Big Political Challenges|Robert Shrum|May 10, 2013|DAILY BEAST
He was also known as a charismatic pragmatist—a “people person”—who was open to the ideas of others.Can We Call Him Frank? New Pope Picks New Name, Francis|Andrew Romano|March 13, 2013|DAILY BEAST
The pragmatist tells a man to think what he must think and never mind the Absolute.Orthodoxy|G. K. Chesterton
Without being able to define, or spell, or even pronounce the term, Sergeant Williamson was a strict pragmatist.Dearest|Henry Beam Piper
Now the principle of the pragmatist is that anything that does not make any difference to anything else is not real.
The pragmatic mode of thinking is practically universal among scientific men, but Ostwald is an extreme pragmatist.
He is a firm Pragmatist—anything that is useful is all right, anything that is useless is a crime.The Skylark of Space|Edward Elmer Smith and Lee Hawkins Garby