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PRAG-MAT'IC, or PRAG-MAT'IC-AL, a. [L. pragmaticus; Gr. πραγματικος, from πραγμα, business; πρασσω, to do. See Practice.]

Forward to intermeddle; meddling; impertinently busy or officious in the concerns of others, without leave or invitation. The fellow grew so pragmatical, that he took upon him the government of my whole family. – Arbuthnot. Pragmatic sanction, in the German empire, the settlement made by Charles VI. the emperor, who in 1722, having no sons, settled his hereditary dominions on his eldest daughter, the archduchess Maria Theresa, which settlement was confirmed by most of the powers of Europe. In the civil law, pragmatic sanction may be defined, a rescript or answer of the sovereign, delivered by advice his council to some college, order, or body of people, who consult him in relation to the affairs of their community. The like answer given to a particular person, is called simply a rescript. – Hottoman. Encyc.


In a meddling manner; impertinently.


The quality of intermeddling without right or invitation.


One who is impertinently busy or meddling. – Reynolds.

PRAI'RY, n. [Fr. prairie.]

An extensive tract of land, mostly level, destitute of trees, and covered with tall coarse grass. These prairies are numerous in the United States, west of the Alleghany mountains, especially between the Ohio, Mississippi and the great lakes.


That may be praised. [Not used.] – Wickliffe.

PRAISE, n. [s as z. D. prys, praise and price; G. preis, praise, price, prize, value; Dan. priis, Sw. pris, id.; W. pris, price, value; Fr. prix; It. prezzo; Sp. precio, price, value; presa, a prize; W. prid; L. pretium: Sp. prez, glory, praise; Scot. prys, praise and prize. See the verb.]

  1. Commendation bestowed on a person for his personal virtues or worthy actions, on meritorious actions themselves, or on any thing valuable; approbation expressed in words or song. Praise may be expressed by an individual, and in this circumstance differs from fame, renown, and celebrity, which are the expression of the approbation of numbers, or public commendation. When praise is applied to the expression of public approbation, it may be synonymous with renown, or nearly so. A man may deserve the praise of an individual, or of a nation. There are men who always confound the praise of goodness with the practice. – Rambler.
  2. The expression of gratitude for personal favors conferred; a glorifying or extolling. He hath put a new song into my mouth, even praise to our God. – Ps. xi.
  3. The object, ground or reason of praise. He is thy praise, and he is thy God. – Deut. x.

PRAISE, v.t. [D. pryzen, to praise; pryzeeren, to estimate or value; G. preisen, to praise; Dan. priser, to praise, extol or lift up; Sw. prisa; W. prisiaw; Arm. presa; Fr. priser, to prize, to value; It. prezzare; Sp. preciar; Port. prezar, to estimate; prezarse, to boast or glory. It appears that praise, price, prize, are all from one root, the primary sense of which is to lift, to raise, or rather to strain. So from L. tollo, extollo, we have extol. Now in Dan. roser, Sw. rosa, signifies to praise, and it may be questioned whether this is praise without a prefix. The Latin pretium, W. prid, is probably from the same root, denoting that which is taken for a thing sold, or the rising or amount, as we use high; a high value or price; corn is high. In Pers. اَفَرَاْز afaraz, is high, lofty; اَفْرَازِيدَنْ afrazidan, to extol. Qu. Fr. prôner, for prosner.]

  1. To commend; to applaud; to express approbation of personal worth or actions. We praise not Hector, though his name we know / Is great in arms; 'tis hard to praise a foe. – Dryden.
  2. To extol in words or song; to magnify; to glorify on account of perfections or excellent works. Praise him, all his angels; praise ye him, all his hosts. – Ps. cxlviii.
  3. To express gratitude for personal favors. – Ps. cxxxviii.
  4. To do honor to; to display the excellence of. All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord. – Ps. cxiv.


Commended; extolled.


Laudable; commendable. [Not used.] – Sidney.


Without praise or commendation. – Sidney.


One who praises, commends or extols; an applauder; a commender. – Sidney. Donne.


In a manner deserving of commendation. – Spenser.


The quality of deserving commendation. – Smith.


Deserving of praise or applause; commendable; as, a praiseworthy action. – Arbuthnot.


Commending; extolling in words or song.

PRAM, or PRAME, n. [D. praam.]

  1. A flat-bottomed boat or lighter; used in Holland for conveying goods to or from a ship in loading or unloading. – Encyc.
  2. In military affairs, a kind of floating battery or flat-bottomed vessel, mounting several cannon; used in covering the disembarkation of troops. – Encyc.

PRANCE, v.i. [pràns; W. pranciaw, to frolic, to play a prank, from rhanc, a reaching or craving, the same as rank; Ir. rincim, to dance; Port. brincar, to sport; Sp. brincar, to leap. It is allied to prank, – which see.]

  1. To spring or bound, as a horse in high mettle. Now rule thy prancing steed. – Gay.
  2. To ride with bounding movements; to ride ostentatiously. Th' insulting tyrant prancing o'er the field. – Addison.
  3. To walk or strut about in a showy manner or with war-like parade. – Swift.


A springing or bounding, as of a high-spirited horse. Judg. v.


Springing; bounding; riding with gallant show.


Frolicksome; full of gambols or tricks. – Brewer.

PRANK, n. [W. pranc.]

  1. Properly, a sudden start or sally. [See Prance.] Hence, a wild flight; a capering; a gambol.
  2. A capricious action; a ludicrous or merry trick, or a mischievous act, rather for sport than injury. Children often play their pranks on each other. In came the harpies and played their accustomed pranks. – Ralegh.

PRANK, v.t. [If n is not radical, this word coincides with G. pracht, D. and Dan. pragt, Sw. prackt, pomp, magnificence; also with G. prangen, to shine, to make a show; D. pronken, to shine or make a show, to be adorned, to strut; Dan. pranger, to prance, to make a show, to sell by retail; the latter sense perhaps from breaking; Sw. prunka. So in Port. brincar, to sport; Sp. id. to leap. These are evidently the Ar. بَرَقَ baraka, to adorn, to lighten. Prink is probably from the same root.]

To adorn in a showy manner; to dress or adjust to ostentation. In sumptuous tire she joyed herself to prank. – Milton. It is often followed by up. And me, poor lowly maid, / Most goddess-like prankt up. – Shak.


Adorned in a showy manner.


One that dresses ostentatiously.