Definition of tractable in English:



  • 1(of a person or animal) easy to control or influence.

    ‘tractable dogs that have had some obedience training’
    • ‘They wanted as well a federal government that would keep the Indians tractable and confined to reservations away from white settlements.’
    • ‘The vast torque on tap makes it so tractable you can just stick it in third gear and drive it like an automatic.’
    • ‘Calves born to tame mothers living with humans would either prove tractable and so be kept to breed, or intractable and so escape or be eaten, outcomes that are genetically equivalent.’
    • ‘On the contrary, they are among the most tractable of dogs.’
    • ‘In either case, I'm sad about the state of things: I'd like to see more men take up writing; and I'd liked to think that men are more tractable, more teachable than it appears we are.’
    • ‘It's a surprisingly tractable companion, especially if you let the auto function take the strain of stop-starting in the city.’
    • ‘The drugging of prisoners for other than medical purposes - i.e., to sedate them so they would be more tractable in custody - was a breach of international human rights standards.’
    • ‘But again, that success was mostly in producing tractable zombies who didn't pose problems for their caretakers or families.’
    • ‘Was the medical establishment just trying to keep patients drugged and tractable?’
    • ‘Elites depend on normative interpretations of cultural forms to promote docile and tractable underlings; non-elites reinterpret the great traditions in order to meet their own social needs.’
    • ‘People are inclined to take advantage of your sympathetic, tractable nature.’
    • ‘The enemy is more tractable if he is confused about the source of the attack and thinks it may be coming from his next-door neighbor.’
    • ‘And that under-powered engine is pleasingly tractable on the slippery stuff.’
    • ‘Humans would have selected (and been more able to control) animals with neotenic variations because they were more tractable.’
    • ‘The more tractable and sweet-tempered of these dogs often spent as much time, if not more, with the hunters' families.’
    controllable, manageable, malleable, governable, yielding, amenable, complaisant, compliant
    docile, submissive, obedient, tame, meek, easily handled, biddable, persuadable, persuasible, accommodating, trusting, gullible, dutiful, willing, unassertive, passive, deferential, humble, obsequious, servile, sycophantic
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    1. 1.1(of a situation or problem) easy to deal with.
      ‘trying to make the mathematics tractable’
      • ‘One thing remains true, however: the more we analyze the problems, the more they seem to be tractable, if not now then within the relatively near future.’
      • ‘To make the model and analyses tractable, however, various simplifying assumptions concerning the above factors have been adopted in previous estimation methods.’
      • ‘So we were looking for a case that would be tractable.’
      • ‘Usually, to make the problem tractable, the molecules are assumed to be spherical and the reactive patches are assumed to be circular.’
      • ‘To sharpen our thinking, we attempt to make these models computationally tractable, even if we lack credible quantitative estimates of many of the variables and relationships.’
      • ‘And despite limits to the model, analysts continue to use the model because it is intuitive and tractable.’
      • ‘The method is computationally intensive, but for tractable cases it is the method of choice.’
      • ‘This system is a computationally tractable and biologically grounded model that has previously provided insights into evolutionary dynamics and fitness landscapes.’
      • ‘But will the problems involved in solid hydrogen storage be any more tractable and yield to any better solution than the problems with gaseous or liquid storage?’
      • ‘While very difficult to retrofit, this is a tractable problem for a ground-up system design.’
      • ‘The first one is tractable and relatively easy.’
      • ‘A more tractable alternative is to try to measure how much people want things, and then to measure how well life is going by seeing how many of their desires are satisfied.’
      • ‘But if 90% of what he does is positive, which it is, then that seems like a tractable problem to me.’
      • ‘Now chance in a casino is much more tractable than chance in nature.’
      • ‘But problems of consciousness are generally felt to be less tractable than matters of intentionality.’
      • ‘The pair had to adjust their probabilistic model to make the calculations more tractable.’
      • ‘While the conditional distributions are not computationally tractable for models of interest, they are amenable to approximation, as we describe below.’
      • ‘It's a neat solution, mathematically tractable.’
      • ‘A problem can be intractable under one approach and yet fully tractable under another.’
      • ‘This problem is no more tractable than that noted above, but some inferences can be made.’


Early 16th century: from Latin tractabilis, from tractare to handle (see tractate).