Definition of intractable in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtraktəb(ə)l/


1Hard to control or deal with: intractable economic problems
More example sentences
  • Poverty remains intractable despite economic growth in many countries.
  • Germany, with its intractable economic problems, is seriously considering it.
  • Nothing is more frightening - no economic problem more intractable - than a deflationary spiral.
unmanageable, uncontrollable, ungovernable, out of control, out of hand, impossible to cope with;
difficult, awkward, complex, troublesome, demanding, burdensome
1.1(Of a person) difficult or stubborn.
Example sentences
  • They are intractable in their thinking, they are unreasoning and unreasonable and it's just a waste of breath to talk to them.
  • And he is similarly intractable on the matter of promotional activities, which he has strictly limited to three a week.
  • I suggested that it'd not stay healthy for long if it had no work to do but he was intractable.
stubborn, obstinate, obdurate, inflexible, unadaptable, unmalleable, unbending, unyielding, uncompromising, unaccommodating, uncooperative, difficult, awkward, perverse, contrary, disobedient, indomitable, refractory, recalcitrant, pig-headed, bull-headed, wilful;
North American  rock-ribbed
informal stiff-necked
British informal bloody-minded
North American informal balky



Pronunciation: /ɪntraktəˈbɪləti/
Example sentences
  • Add to that a large body of psychiatric literature detailing the stubborn intractability of pedophilia, and it all adds up to a class of persons popularly considered beyond redemption.
  • Because of the intractability of her condition, the offender's prospects of rehabilitation are negligible.
  • The intractability should remind us that the issue is not pro or anti globalization, but how to make publicly accountable the oligarchy that has led us into this experience of globalization as breeding more and more injustice.


Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtraktəblnəs/
Example sentences
  • They charge her with intractableness in refusing to answer the judges at her trial, ignoring the fact that this was her judicial right.


Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtraktəbli/
Example sentences
  • In the West, the writers and artists and many of the clergy and public intellectuals are intractably anti-war.
  • This stands in stark contrast to those who complain about the fragmented nature of American society, or the seemingly intractably opposed interests of some of its citizens.
  • However, typically, the number of non-dominated solutions increases with the number of criteria and the non-dominated set is often intractably large.


Late 15th century: from Latin intractabilis, from in- 'not' + tractabilis (see tractable).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in|tract|able

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