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·bili·ty, in·tracta·ble·ness n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.