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3 definitions found
 for pragmatic sanction
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Pragmatic \Prag*mat"ic\, Pragmatical \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.]
     1. Of or pertaining to business or to affairs; of the nature
        of business; practical; material; businesslike in habit or
        manner.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              The next day . . . I began to be very pragmatical.
                                                    --Evelyn.
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              We can not always be contemplative, diligent, or
              pragmatical, abroad; but have need of some
              delightful intermissions.             --Milton.
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              Low, pragmatical, earthly views of the gospel.
                                                    --Hare.
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     2. Busy; specifically, busy in an objectionable way;
        officious; fussy and positive; meddlesome. "Pragmatical
        officers of justice." --Sir W. Scott.
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              The fellow grew so pragmatical that he took upon him
              the government of my whole family.    --Arbuthnot.
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     3. 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.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     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.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  pragmatic sanction
      n 1: an imperial decree that becomes part of the fundamental law
           of the land [syn: pragmatic sanction, pragmatic]

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  PRAGMATIC SANCTION, French law. This expression is used to designate those 
  ordinances which concern the most important object of the civil or 
  ecclesiastical administration. Merl. Repert, h.t.; 1 Fournel, Hist. des 
  Avocats, 24, 38, 39. 2. In the civil law, the answer given by the emperors 
  on questions of law, when consulted by a corporation or the citizens of a 
  province, or of a, municipality, was called a pragmatic sanction. Lecons El. 
  du Dr. Civ. Rom. Sec. 53. This differed from a rescript. (q.v.) 
  
  

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