Meaning of pragmatist


If you have a friend whose head is always in the clouds, always dreaming, and taking risks without thinking of the consequences, you might say that she isn’t much of a pragmatist.

A pragmatist is someone who is pragmatic, that is to say, someone who is practical and focused on reaching a goal. A pragmatist usually has a straightforward, matter-of-fact approach and doesn’t let emotion distract her. A pragmatist can also ignore her own ideals to get the job done, so in this way it can have a slightly negative meaning. The word is often used in reference to politicians to mean that they are either sensible or willing to cut corners for their cause.

Definitions of pragmatist
  1. noun

    an adherent of philosophical pragmatism

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    type of:


    a philosopher who believes that universals are real and exist independently of anyone thinking of them

  2. noun

    a person who takes a practical approach to problems and is concerned primarily with the success or failure of his or her actions

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    type of:


    a person who accepts the world as it literally is and deals with it accordingly

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