Can't manage your stubborn little brother who won't do what anyone says? You could call him intractable, or you could call your mother. Problems are intractable when they can't be solved.

Intractable means not tractable. Helpful, right? No? Let's break it down. In both words you see the word tract. A contract is a written document that explains how a legal situation is to be managed together. When someone is tractable they are able to be managed or handled. When they are intractable, they are as unmanageable as a hungry two-year old.

Definitions of intractable

adj not tractable; difficult to manage or mold

“an intractable disposition”
intractable pain”
“the most intractable issue of our era”
intractable metal”
defiant, noncompliant
boldly resisting authority or an opposing force
difficult, unmanageable
hard to control
not obeying or complying with commands of those in authority
obstinate, stubborn, unregenerate
tenaciously unwilling or marked by tenacious unwillingness to yield
untamed, wild
in a natural state; not tamed or domesticated or cultivated
balking, balky
stopping short and refusing to go on
refractory, stubborn
not responding to treatment
uncontrollable, unmanageable
difficult to solve or alleviate
difficult or impossible to shape or work
manipulable, tractable
easily managed (controlled or taught or molded)
disposed or willing to comply
capable of being managed or controlled
dutifully complying with the commands or instructions of those in authority
willing to be taught or led or supervised or directed
tame, tamed
brought from wildness into a domesticated state
ductile, malleable
easily influenced
docile, teachable
ready and willing to be taught
tamable, tameable
capable of being tamed
show more antonyms...

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.