Definition of intractable in English:



  • 1Hard to control or deal with:

    ‘intractable economic problems’
    • ‘For severe intractable cancer pain, more potent long-acting opioids are recommended.’
    • ‘In the end he was beaten by Pandora, in whose box was not only the party demon but also the even more intractable economic and nationality devils.’
    • ‘In that case the patient had been diagnosed with terminal cancer or intractable pain connected up with the terminal cancer.’
    • ‘The patient was admitted to the hospital with intractable abdominal pain.’
    • ‘Under those circumstances, it's hard not to simply decide that the problem is intractable and give up.’
    • ‘At the heart of the present political conflict is an intractable contradiction.’
    • ‘Poverty remains intractable despite economic growth in many countries.’
    • ‘Given the intractable nature of controlling leaks, we need to try remedies that have not been tried before.’
    • ‘Nothing is more frightening - no economic problem more intractable - than a deflationary spiral.’
    • ‘Germany, with its intractable economic problems, is seriously considering it.’
    • ‘People with diabetes may develop a particularly intractable form of disordered eating that is not readily amenable to treatment.’
    • ‘Economic progress has been accompanied by wide income disparities and intractable social problems.’
    • ‘If all these measures fail and pain remains intractable, then below knee amputation may be needed.’
    • ‘Now it represents one of the world's most intractable economies.’
    • ‘This problem has grown increasingly intractable because of changing social expectations about parenthood.’
    • ‘Injections that block nerve transmission in the plexus may be helpful in the treatment of intractable abdominal pain, such as in cancer of the pancreas.’
    • ‘In part this flows from the recognition that many of the most intractable social problems are not simply economic or even political.’
    • ‘After years in the doldrums, the economy is picking up, and the seemingly intractable budget deficits have been avoided for the past two years.’
    • ‘War is further seen as a means of diverting the attention of working people from the intractable social and economic crisis at home.’
    • ‘Spinal cord stimulators also are used in the treatment of intractable pain.’
    unmanageable, uncontrollable, ungovernable, out of control, out of hand, impossible to cope with
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    1. 1.1 (of a person) difficult or stubborn.
      • ‘She was brave, but she was also intractable, when she set her mind on something.’
      • ‘I suggested that it'd not stay healthy for long if it had no work to do but he was intractable.’
      • ‘And he is similarly intractable on the matter of promotional activities, which he has strictly limited to three a week.’
      • ‘The idea is to bring them on side, to drive a wedge between them and people they perceive as intractable opponents.’
      • ‘They are intractable in their thinking, they are unreasoning and unreasonable and it's just a waste of breath to talk to them.’
      • ‘When Dana reached her side, he realized that she was intractable.’
      • ‘The recollection is of a religious zealot, a somewhat dull and intractable man in stark contrast to his master, the virile and volatile Henry VIII.’
      • ‘That is perhaps one reason why its peoples are so intractable and difficult.’
      stubborn, obstinate, obdurate, inflexible, unadaptable, unmalleable, unbending, unyielding, uncompromising, unaccommodating, uncooperative, difficult, awkward, perverse, contrary, disobedient, indomitable, refractory, recalcitrant, pig-headed, bull-headed, wilful
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Late 15th century: from Latin intractabilis, from in- not + tractabilis (see tractable).