intractable

adjective
in·​trac·​ta·​ble | \ (ˌ)in-ˈtrak-tə-bəl How to pronounce intractable (audio) \

Definition of intractable

1 : not easily governed, managed, or directed intractable problems
2 : not easily relieved or cured intractable pain
3 : not easily manipulated or shaped intractable metal

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Other Words from intractable

intractability \ (ˌ)in-​ˌtrak-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce intractability (audio) \ noun
intractably \ (ˌ)in-​ˈtrak-​tə-​blē How to pronounce intractably (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for intractable

unruly, ungovernable, intractable, refractory, recalcitrant, willful, headstrong mean not submissive to government or control. unruly implies lack of discipline or incapacity for discipline and often connotes waywardness or turbulence of behavior. unruly children ungovernable implies either an escape from control or guidance or a state of being unsubdued and incapable of controlling oneself or being controlled by others. ungovernable rage intractable suggests stubborn resistance to guidance or control. intractable opponents of the hazardous-waste dump refractory stresses resistance to attempts to manage or to mold. special schools for refractory children recalcitrant suggests determined resistance to or defiance of authority. acts of sabotage by a recalcitrant populace willful implies an obstinate determination to have one's own way. a willful disregard for the rights of others headstrong suggests self-will impatient of restraint, advice, or suggestion. a headstrong young cavalry officer

Examples of intractable in a Sentence

Contrary to the idea of black holes sucking everything, even light, into inconceivable nothingness, Hawking proposed that there was one thing that could escape a black hole's intractable grip: thermal radiation … — Bruno Maddox, Discover, September 2006 Sepsis, which is what happens to the body when an infection goes bad, is one of mankind's oldest and most intractable foes. — Leon Jaroff, Time, 24 July 2000 But now anesthesiologists have begun turning to an herb to help treat a deadly and often intractable lung condition that affects hundreds of thousands of people a year. — Eric Nagourney, New York Times, 26 Oct. 1999 a patient experiencing intractable pain an intractable child who deliberately does the opposite of whatever he is told
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Recent Examples on the Web And while solving these intractable issues should not fall solely on women, women have historically led the fight. Tina Tchen For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "The sexist rhetoric around the election proves women still have to fight for respect," 13 Nov. 2020 This program follows others in Baltimore that have had some success tackling the intractable health problems of violence and overdose deaths. Washington Post, "Peer coaches work to address covid-19, other health disparities," 8 Nov. 2020 This program follows others in Baltimore that have had some success tackling the intractable health problems of violence and overdose deaths. Washington Post, "Peer coaches work to address covid-19, other health disparities," 8 Nov. 2020 For years, homelessness has loomed over the civic culture of Los Angeles as its most intractable problem, one that defined the city and its government in the eyes of many people. Benjamin Oreskes, Los Angeles Times, "A newly constituted City Council could change L.A.'s approach to homelessness," 8 Nov. 2020 The machines harness the properties of quantum physics, including superposition and entanglement, to radically speed up complex calculations related to finance, health care and manufacturing that are intractable for today’s computers. Sara Castellanos, WSJ, "Visa, JPMorgan Are Already Preparing for Potential Quantum Cyberattacks," 9 Oct. 2020 The machines are expected to solve presently intractable problems in science and business with applications spanning chemical modeling, hedge fund portfolio-strategizing, drug discovery, and A.I. advancements. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "IBM plans a huge leap in superfast quantum computing by 2030," 15 Sep. 2020 But this challenge, to be involved in the most intractable of ethnic conflicts when the whole world needs to learn how to solve ethnic conflicts, maybe we were put there for some reason. Ben Harris, sun-sentinel.com, "Rabbi/author (still) believes Hasidic ideas key to vibrant modern Judaism," 22 Oct. 2020 This program follows others in Baltimore that have had some success tackling the intractable health problems of violence and overdose deaths. Meredith Cohn, baltimoresun.com, "Spiritual coaches aim to ease COVID-19, other health disparities in West Baltimore," 20 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intractable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of intractable

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for intractable

Latin intractabilis, from in- + tractabilis tractable

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Time Traveler for intractable

Time Traveler

The first known use of intractable was in 1531

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Statistics for intractable

Last Updated

24 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Intractable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intractable. Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for intractable

intractable

adjective
How to pronounce intractable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of intractable

formal
: not easily managed, controlled, or solved
: not easily relieved or cured

intractable

adjective
in·​trac·​ta·​ble | \ (ˈ)in-ˈtrak-tə-bəl How to pronounce intractable (audio) \

Medical Definition of intractable

1 : not easily managed or controlled (as by antibiotics or psychotherapy) an intractable child activity against many intractable Proteus and Pseudomonas species of bacteriaAnnual Report Pfizer
2 : not easily relieved or cured intractable pain intractable bleeding in duodenal ulcerJournal of the American Medical Association

Other Words from intractable

intractability \ (ˌ)in-​ˌtrak-​tə-​ˈbil-​ət-​ē How to pronounce intractability (audio) \ noun, plural intractabilities

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Comments on intractable

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