Prag*mat"ic (?), Prag*mat"ic*al (?), a. [L. pragmaticus busy, active, skilled in business, especially in law and state affairs, systematic, Gr. , fr. a thing done, business, fr. to do: cf. F. pragmatique. See Practical.]


Of or pertaining to business or to affairs; of the nature of business; practical; material; businesslike in habit or manner.

The next day . . . I began to be very pragmatical. Evelyn.

We can not always be contemplative, diligent, or pragmatical, abroad; but have need of some delightful intermissions. Milton.

Low, pragmatical, earthly views of the gospel. Hare.


Busy; specifically, busy in an objectionable way; officious; fussy and positive; meddlesome.

"Pragmatical officers of justice."

Sir W. Scott.

The fellow grew so pragmatical that he took upon him the government of my whole family. Arbuthnot.


Philosophical; dealing with causes, reasons, and effects, rather than with details and circumstances; -- said of literature.

"Pragmatic history." Sir W. Hamilton. "Pragmatic poetry." M. Arnold.

Pragmatic sanction, a solemn ordinance or decree issued by the head or legislature of a state upon weighty matters; -- a term derived from the Byzantine empire. In European history, two decrees under this name are particularly celebrated. One of these, issued by Charles VII. of France, A. D. 1438, was the foundation of the liberties of the Gallican church; the other, issued by Charles VI. of Germany, A. D. 1724, settled his hereditary dominions on his eldest daughter, the Archduchess Maria Theresa.


© Webster 1913.

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