What does pragmatism mean?

Definitions for pragmatismˈpræg məˌtɪz əm

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word pragmatism.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. pragmatism(noun)

    (philosophy) the doctrine that practical consequences are the criteria of knowledge and meaning and value

  2. realism, pragmatism(noun)

    the attribute of accepting the facts of life and favoring practicality and literal truth


  1. pragmatism(Noun)

    The pursuit of practicality over aesthetic qualities; a concentration on facts rather than emotions or ideals.

  2. pragmatism(Noun)

    The theory that political problems should be met with practical solutions rather than ideological ones.

  3. pragmatism(Noun)

    The idea that beliefs are identified with the actions of a believer, and the truth of beliefs with success of those actions in securing a believer's goals; the doctrine that ideas must be looked at in terms of their practical effects and consequences.

  4. Origin: From stem of πρᾶγμα + -ism.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Pragmatism(noun)

    the quality or state of being pragmatic; in literature, the pragmatic, or philosophical, method


  1. Pragmatism

    Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition that began in the United States around 1870. Pragmatism is a rejection of the idea that the function of thought is to describe, represent, or mirror reality. Instead, pragmatists develop their philosophy around the idea that the function of thought is as a instrument or tool for prediction, action, and problem solving. Pragmatists contend that most philosophical topics--such as the nature of knowledge, language, concepts, meaning, belief, and science--are all best viewed in terms of their practical uses and successes rather than in terms of representative accuracy. A few of the various but interrelated positions often characteristic of philosophers working from a pragmatist approach include: ⁕Anti-representationalism; any view in philosophy of language that rejects analyzing the semantic meaning of propositions, mental states, and statements in terms of a correspondence or representational relationship and instead analyzes semantic meaning in terms of notions like dispositions to action, inferential relationships, and/or functional roles. Not to be confused with pragmatics, a sub-field of linguistics with no relation to philosophical pragmatism.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of pragmatism in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of pragmatism in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Le Pen:

    The key word will be pragmatism, not ideology.

  2. Aaron David Miller:

    It’s a perfect storm of isolationism, muscular nationalism, with a dash of pragmatism and realism.

  3. Roderich Kiesewetter:

    The European Union is very much marked by the French approach, british output-orientated pragmatism is much closer to our approach.

  4. Nita Lowey:

    Andrew Cuomo, as governor, because of his pragmatism has been extraordinarily successful in actually putting in policies to implement Mario's vision.

  5. Keith Ellison:

    Pragmatism is not always a good thing. Experience is not always a good thing. Experience should teach you not to vote for an Iraq War where this country has not attacked us.

Images & Illustrations of pragmatism

  1. pragmatismpragmatismpragmatism

Translations for pragmatism

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for pragmatism »


Find a translation for the pragmatism definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these pragmatism definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"pragmatism." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 22 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/pragmatism>.

Are we missing a good definition for pragmatism? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for pragmatism:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.