Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.


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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.intractably - in an intractable manner
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Mihailov again tried to say that that was how he understood Pilate, but his lips quivered intractably, and he could not pronounce the words.
With Congress away from Washington for a five-week recess, and the parties intractably divided, the odds appear stacked in favor of gridlock.
The book's greatest fun is the tense and comic-absurd description of the intractably hedonistic Leary aggravating Cleaver with his lack of revolutionary discipline.
their toilette of sea foam), and thus could easily slip away from the solidity of anything that one might pin down, available to surveillance by being intractably, physically there ("cette cielee d'yeux qui tambourine aux portes de ma chair"--a sky filled with firey eyes mercilessly gazing down at one "drumming at the gates of my skin") (80).
However, the 'land question' remains an intractably sensitive issue that even several land commissions have failed to address.
"An almost intractably complex disorder, schizophrenia is nearly impossible to fully treat in large part because it acts as two disorders in one," said co-senior author Joseph Gogos from Columbia's Mortimer B.
1 of the health sector intractably linked to Sustainable Development Goals and the National Health Vision 2025.
Furthermore, the evidence of lies and post-offence concealment was not 'intractably neutral' so as to require manslaughter to be left to the jury, (30) as the Court of Appeal had believed.
I always wonder about the spouse who intractably demands compromise; it seems more power-driven than principled.
Except, can we really improve on the intractably painful and difficult interactions between ourselves and everyone else around us?
the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Others [1] case In which the North Gauteng High Court granted an order stating that a terminally ill patient who was 'suffering intractably' was entitled to commit suicide with the assistance of his doctor and that the doctor's conduct would not be unlawful or subject to disciplinary action by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).