tractable was our Word of the Day on 12/13/2014. Hear the podcast!
Examples of tractable in a Sentence
This new approach should make the problem more tractable.
He's a very tractable child.
Recent Examples of tractable from the Web
While many of Europe's problems are relatively tractable, there is one – the greatest challenge facing the region – that can be solved only by a fundamental shift in attitude: the conflict between immigration and national identity.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tractable'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Obedient, docile, and amenable are synonyms of tractable, but those four words have slightly different shades of meaning. Tractable describes an individual whose character permits easy handling, while docile implies a predisposition to submit readily to authority. Obedient is often used to describe compliance with authority, although that compliance is not necessarily offered eagerly. Amenable, on the other hand, is usually used when one cooperates out of a desire to be agreeable. Tractable dates from the early 16th century and derives from the Latin verb tractare ("to handle" or "to treat"). Despite the resemblance, this root did not give us the noun tractor or verbs such as contract or attract-those all derive from a loosely related Latin verb trahere ("to draw or drag").
Origin and Etymology of tractable
Latin tractabilis, from tractare to handle, treat
First Known Use: 1502See Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of tractable
TRACTABLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of tractable for English Language Learners
: easily managed or controlled
: willing to learn or be guided by another
Seen and Heard
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