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1 : relating to matters of fact or practical affairs often to the exclusion of intellectual or artistic matters : practical as opposed to idealistic pragmatic men of power have had no time or inclination to deal with … social morality— K. B. Clark
2 : relating to or being in accordance with philosophical pragmatism
… their pragmatic successors like Benjamin Franklin were concerned with lightning’s … power but not its thrilling scenic value. — John Updike, New York Review of Books, 15 Aug. 2002 … NASA has two coexisting personae with vastly distinct characters: the somewhat romantically motivated manned space program, and the rather more pragmatic unmanned program. — David H. Freedman, Discover, July 1994 … pragmatic enough to have held on to their day jobs for years after they were putting out records. — Chris Mundy, Rolling Stone, 16 Sept. 1993 … and her mysticism never failed to exasperate her pragmatic, mountain-climbing daughter. — Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses, 1989 His pragmatic view of public education comes from years of working in city schools. a pragmatic man, not given to grand, visionary schemes
See MoreRecent Examples on the Web There were so many different neighborhoods and lifestyles around the Bay Area that the decision about where to live felt more like a cultural choice than apragmatic one. — Stephen Zoepf, Wired, “I Used to Love Cars. Here’s What Drove Me Away,” 29 Feb. 2020 These are some of the morals of VanderMeer’s fable, though the most valuable lesson might be apragmatic one written for our current moment. — Connor Goodwin, Washington Post, “In Jeff VanderMeer’s ‘Dead Astronauts,’ time travelers try to rescue a ruined world,” 4 Dec. 2019 Tennessee’s conservatism, in particular, has a morepragmatic streak. — Tara Golshan, Vox, “Democrats’ new bet: boring can win,” 25 Oct. 2018 Conceding only four goals en route to topping their group had come from manager Cuper deciding to go with a verypragmatic system. —SI.com, “Egypt Hopeful of Having Salah to Navigate Manageable World Cup Group,” 30 May 2018 In sum, the guidelines follow apragmatic approach in light of a compelling public health need. — Sreenidhi Srinivasan, Quartz India, “Coronavirus has become the booster shot that telemedicine was waiting for in India,” 5 Apr. 2020 Faced with this reality, Portugal responded in a spirit ofpragmatic openness. — Thomas Chatterton Williams, Harper’s Magazine, “The Wanderer’s Port,” 30 Mar. 2020 The sensible,pragmatic, responsible thing to do in 1932 and in 2008 was to tell Republicans to either do as they were told or go pound sand, and the same is true today. — Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, “Democrats need to play coronavirus hardball,” 23 Mar. 2020 Their position may have beenpragmatic as much as anything. — Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, “Trump’s Impeachment Is Virtually Over. What Did It Change?,” 1 Feb. 2020
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘pragmatic.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.