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.

1860–65; pragmat(ic) + -ism

pragmatistic, adjective
antipragmatism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pragmatism (ˈpræɡməˌtɪzəm)
1.  action or policy dictated by consideration of the immediate practical consequences rather than by theory or dogma
2.  philosophy
 a.  the doctrine that the content of a concept consists only in its practical applicability
 b.  See also instrumentalism the doctrine that truth consists not in correspondence with the facts but in successful coherence with experience
n, —adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"matter-of-fact treatment," 1872, from Gk. pragmat-, stem of pragma (see pragmatic). As a philosophical doctrine, 1898, said to be from 1870s. Probably from Ger. Pragmatismus. As a political theory, from 1951.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

pragmatism prag·ma·tism (prāg'mə-tĭz'əm)
A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.

prag·mat'ic (-māt'ĭk) adj.
prag'ma·tist n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

pragmatism definition

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 American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
This notion is not naive ideology; it is hard-headed pragmatism.
Again, it is a question of pragmatism and proper roles.
Politicians are local and thus more inclined to pragmatism and constructive
These corporations are not capable of transcending the pragmatism of their
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