- not easily controlled or directed; not docile or manageable; stubborn; obstinate: an intractable disposition.
- (of things) hard to shape or work with: an intractable metal.
- hard to treat, relieve, or cure: the intractable pain in his leg.
- an intractable person.
Origin of intractable
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. perverse, headstrong, dogged, obdurate, stony, willful, froward. 1, 2. fractious, refractory, unbending, inflexible, adamant, unyielding. See unruly.
1. amiable. 1, 2. amenable, flexible.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for intractably
The United States and NATO were implicated more deeply, directly and intractably in Afghanistan than they had ever been in Bosnia.The Taliban on Richard Holbrooke
Christopher Dickey, Ron Moreau & Sami Yousafzai
December 14, 2010
"O no," she said, intractably moving to the other side of the decayed fire.Return of the Native
"Then it appears to me that Sergeant Troy does not concern us here," she said, intractably.Far from the Madding Crowd
But something in him, some intractably tough bit of his old self, rose up protesting—frantically.A Christmas Garland
- difficult to influence or directan intractable disposition
- (of a problem, illness, etc) difficult to solve, alleviate, or cure
- difficult to shape or mould, esp with the hands
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for intractably
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Difficult to manage or govern; stubborn.
- Difficult to alleviate, remedy, or cure.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.