tractable

play
adjective trac·ta·ble \ˈtrak-tə-bəl\

Definition of tractable

  1. 1 :  capable of being easily led, taught, or controlled :  docile a tractable horse

  2. 2 :  easily handled, managed, or wrought :  malleable

tractability

play \ˌtrak-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

tractableness

play \ˈtrak-tə-bəl-nəs\ noun

tractably

play \-blē\ adverb

tractable was our Word of the Day on 12/13/2014. Hear the podcast!

Examples of tractable in a Sentence

  1. This new approach should make the problem more tractable.

  2. He's a very tractable child.

Recent Examples of tractable from the Web

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

Synonym Discussion of tractable

obedient, docile, tractable, amenable mean submissive to the will of another. obedient implies compliance with the demands or requests of one in authority. obedient to the government docile implies a predisposition to submit readily to control or guidance. a docile child tractable suggests having a character that permits easy handling or managing. tractable animals amenable suggests a willingness to yield or cooperate because of a desire to be agreeable or because of a natural open-mindedness. amenable to new ideas

TRACTABLE Defined for English Language Learners

tractable

play
adjective

Definition of tractable for English Language Learners

  • : easily managed or controlled

  • : willing to learn or be guided by another



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