Meaning of pragmatism in English:


Pronunciation /ˈpraɡmətɪz(ə)m/

Translate pragmatism into Spanish


mass noun
  • 1A pragmatic attitude or policy.

    ‘ideology had been tempered with pragmatism’
    • ‘This is indicative of the sentiment-eschewing pragmatism that has been characteristic of a driven performer.’
    • ‘Fortunately, democratic politics normally are characterized by pragmatism and compromise, not ideology.’
    • ‘For a government that prides itself on pragmatism and prudence, this is a policy that astonishes in its fecklessness and recklessness.’
    • ‘In foreign policy, he combined a high degree of pragmatism with nationalism.’
    • ‘But the party realises that pragmatism rather than dogmatism is required if it is to make headway in a deeply divided polity.’
    • ‘Since you temper your gut instincts with pragmatism and cool thought, trusting them is usually a safe bet.’
    • ‘I admire their idealism, but wish it could be tempered with a little pragmatism, and also that their science was more sound.’
    • ‘Is it the pursuit of perfection, a realisation of pragmatism, the search for the divine or perhaps baser instincts which drive us into wanting someone?’
    • ‘Having developed the capacity to play some breathtaking rugby, we have sometimes failed to serve this captivating dish with a side order of pragmatism.’
    • ‘Well, commerce has inspired a degree of pragmatism.’
    • ‘This was not Utopia; it was merely hard-headed pragmatism shorn of illusion.’
    • ‘At the same time, however, he has shown himself capable of pragmatism.’
    • ‘But by Thursday morning a note of pragmatism had crept in.’
    • ‘The peculiar ethic which they have evolved for themselves embraces a perfectly elastic system with lots of emphasis on pragmatism.’
    • ‘His presumed pragmatism upholds the status quo by ridiculing the relative few who dare to challenge it.’
    • ‘In football, pragmatism usually triumphs over romance.’
    • ‘Underpinning his work is a ruthless pragmatism that many a maestro could learn from.’
    • ‘Such apparent political pragmatism worries many, because of the dangerous precedent it sets.’
    • ‘He has handled the situation practically and with pragmatism and common sense.’
    • ‘In doing so he echoes the humanist pragmatism of Florentine practical mathematics a century before.’
    expediency, exploitation, taking advantage, Machiavellianism, manoeuvring, pragmatism, realism, unscrupulousness
  • 2Philosophy
    An approach that evaluates theories or beliefs in terms of the success of their practical application.

    ‘The alternative to pragmatism is epistemological realism.’
    • ‘In such formulations, there are striking similarities between Critical Theory and American pragmatism.’
    • ‘The primacy of the practical is what links American pragmatism and Heidegger's hermeneutic phenomenology.’
    • ‘Nor does he think that philosophical pragmatism has much to contribute to legal thought.’
    • ‘She does not often provide explicit details about how such a " philosophical pragmatism " might benefit feminism.’
    common sense, sense, realism, pragmatism, matter-of-factness


Mid 19th century from Greek pragma, pragmat- ‘deed’ (see pragmatic) + -ism.