pragmatic

To describe a person or a solution that takes a realistic approach, consider the adjective pragmatic. The four-year-old who wants a unicorn for her birthday isn't being very pragmatic.

The opposite of idealistic is pragmatic, a word that describes a philosophy of "doing what works best." From Greek pragma "deed," the word has historically described philosophers and politicians who were concerned more with real-world application of ideas than with abstract notions. A pragmatic person is sensible, grounded, and practical — and doesn't expect a birthday celebration filled with magical creatures.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: pragmatic

1
adj
concerned with practical matters
2
n
an imperial decree that becomes part of the fundamental law of the land
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: pragmatic
1

adj concerned with practical matters

Synonyms:
matter-of-fact, pragmatical
practical
concerned with actual use or practice

adj of or concerning the theory of pragmatism

Synonyms:
pragmatical

adj guided by practical experience and observation rather than theory

“not ideology but pragmatic politics”
Synonyms:
hard-nosed, hardheaded, practical
realistic
aware or expressing awareness of things as they really are
2

n an imperial decree that becomes part of the fundamental law of the land

Synonyms:
pragmatic sanction
Type of:
imperial decree
a decree issued by a sovereign ruler
WORD FAMILY
USAGE EXAMPLES