One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A royal ordinance or edict, especially of the Spanish Court, having the force of law.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in John Selden (1584–1654), lawyer and historical and linguistic scholar. From post-classical Latin pragmatica pragmatic sanction, use as noun of feminine singular of classical Latin pragmaticus; frequently via Spanish pragmática. Compare Catalan pragmática, Portuguese pragmática, Italian prammatica.
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