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a. Difficult to manage, deal with, or change to an acceptable condition: an intractable conflict; an intractable dilemma.
b. Difficult to alleviate, remedy, or cure: intractable pain; intractable depression.
2. Difficult to persuade or keep under control, as in behavior: "Bullheaded enough when he was cold sober, he was intractable after a few drinks" (John Grisham). See Synonyms at obstinate.
3. Difficult to mold or manipulate: intractable materials.

in·trac′ta·bil′i·ty, in·trac′ta·ble·ness n.
in·trac′ta·bly adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.intractableness - the trait of being hard to influence or control
trait - a distinguishing feature of your personal nature
recalcitrance, recalcitrancy, refractoriness, unmanageableness - the trait of being unmanageable
wildness - an intractably barbarous or uncultivated state of nature
defiance, rebelliousness - intentionally contemptuous behavior or attitude
fractiousness, unruliness, wilfulness, willfulness - the trait of being prone to disobedience and lack of discipline
balkiness - likely to stop abruptly and unexpectedly
mulishness, obstinacy, obstinance, stubbornness - the trait of being difficult to handle or overcome
disobedience - the trait of being unwilling to obey


References in periodicals archive ?
Leave the old there, and La Civilta Cattolica and its party would permit us the regimen of liberty everywhere else, as a concession to our weakness, our intractableness, or to a local and temporary necessity.
(27) To marshal support for his broad pluralist vision, King vividly designated, through word-picture parings, his "community of Others"--a "world-wide fellowship." (28) Despite personally experiencing the intractableness of neocolonialism, King still mustered the courage to imagine a world of peaceful co-existence--a world that had many names, such as "the world house"29 and "beloved community."30 Speaking about the former, he wrote, "We have inherited a large house, a great 'world house' in which we have to live together--black and white, Easterner and Westerner, Gentile and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Moslem and Hindu--a family unduly separated in ideas, culture and interest, who, because we can never again live apart, must learn somehow to live with each other in peace."31
(40) Nevertheless he seems to confirm the inherent intractableness, and therefore fundamental dangerousness, of international politics.