Word of the Day Archive
Sunday December 12, 1999
intractable \in-TRAK-tuh-buhl\ , adjective:
1. Not easily governed, managed, or directed; stubborn; obstinate; as, "an intractable child."
2. Not easily wrought or manipulated; as, "intractable materials."
3. Not easily remedied, relieved, or dealt with; as, "intractable problems."
Would their methods work with a child who was as violent and intractable as Helen?
-- Dorothy Herrmann, Helen Keller: A Life
The efforts of a few artistic architects to treat the cast-iron front only served to show how intractable the material was.
-- Robert A. M. Stern, Thomas Mellins, and David Fishman, New York 1880: Architecture and Urbanism in the Gilded Age
Many of the problems of government and society seem intractable, while debate centered on policy issues appears fruitless.
-- Robert Shogan, The Double-Edged Sword
Intractable is from Latin intractabilis, from in-, "not" + tractabilis, "manageable," from trahere, "to draw (along), to drag, to pull."