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  1. easily managed or controlled; docile; yielding: a tractable child; a tractable disposition.
  2. easily worked, shaped, or otherwise handled; malleable.

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

Synonyms for tractable

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Antonyms for tractable Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tractable

Historical Examples of tractable

British Dictionary definitions for tractable


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

Word Origin for tractable

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 tractable

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper