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See more synonyms for tractable on Thesaurus.com
  1. easily managed or controlled; docile; yielding: a tractable child; a tractable disposition.
  2. easily worked, shaped, or otherwise handled; malleable.
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Origin of tractable

1495–1505; < Latin tractābilis, equivalent to tractā(re) to handle, deal with (frequentative of trahere to draw) + -bilis -ble
Related formstrac·ta·bil·i·ty, trac·ta·ble·ness, nountrac·ta·bly, adverbnon·trac·ta·bil·i·ty, nounnon·trac·ta·ble, adjectivenon·trac·ta·ble·ness, nounnon·trac·ta·bly, adverbun·trac·ta·bil·i·ty, nounun·trac·ta·ble, adjectiveun·trac·ta·ble·ness, nounun·trac·ta·bly, adverb


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for tractability

Historical Examples

  • I need not have been so surprised as I was at his tractability.

    Lord Jim

    Joseph Conrad

  • For once Margaret miscalculated the tractability of her father's temper.

    Anne of Geierstein

    Walter Scott

  • But he only said this to keep up his courage, and not to be ashamed of his tractability.

  • Their suspicions would be lulled by my tractability and their contempt.

    The Firefly Of France

    Marion Polk Angellotti

  • There was nothing marvellous in the fact of her tractability thus far.

    The Well-Beloved

    Thomas Hardy

British Dictionary definitions for tractability


  1. easily controlled or persuaded
  2. readily worked; malleable
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Derived Formstractability or tractableness, nountractably, adverb

Word Origin

C16: from Latin tractābilis, from tractāre to manage, from trahere to draw
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 tractability



"manageable," early 15c., from Latin tractabilis "that may be touched, handled, or managed," from tractare "to handle, manage" (see treat). Related: Tractability.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper