• synonyms


  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

Synonyms for tractable

Antonyms for tractable

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

Examples from the Web for untractable

Historical Examples of untractable

  • By their own declaration, not only are they our enemies, but enemies the most spiteful and untractable.

    Imaginary Conversations and Poems

    Walter Savage Landor

  • There was a noise of musical instruments and untractable boots on the floor-boards.

    Old Junk

    H. M. Tomlinson

  • In their eyes, they are poor, helpless, and untractable devils.

  • She was a plain child, and her shock of red hair was straight and untractable.

    Marjorie at Seacote

    Carolyn Wells

  • To which of those happy propositions is your Duke so much wedded that contradiction will make him unreasonable and untractable?

    Quentin Durward

    Sir Walter Scott

British Dictionary definitions for untractable


  1. easily controlled or persuaded
  2. readily worked; malleable
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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 untractable



"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