from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Easily managed or controlled; governable.
  • adj. Easily handled or worked; malleable.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Capable of being easily led, taught, or managed; docile; manageable; governable.
  • adj. Capable of being shaped; malleable.
  • adj. Sufficiently operationalizable or useful to allow a mathematical calculation to proceed toward a solution.
  • adj. Of a decision problem, algorithmically solvable fast enough to be practically relevant, typically in polynomial time.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Capable of being easily led, taught, or managed; docile; manageable; governable.
  • adj. Capable of being handled; palpable; practicable; feasible.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Capable of being touched, handled, or felt; palpable.
  • Easily handled or wrought.
  • Hence Manageable; governable; easily led; docile; pliant.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. readily reacting to suggestions and influences
  • adj. easily managed (controlled or taught or molded)


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin tractābilis, from tractāre, to manage, frequentative of trahere, to draw.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin tractābilis ("that may be touched, handled, or managed"), from tractō ("take in hand, handle, manage"), frequentative of trahō ("draw").


  • I was what they call a tractable child, being, in fact, too little interested in the world as it was to resent any duties cast upon me.

    Lore of Proserpine

  • Interestingly, many pop boooks say the opposite; Oriental sighthounds, huskies, laikas are not neccessarily "tractable"-- they figure things out, and you must work with them.

    The Tazi Girls

  • He did not become docile by any means, but he was tractable, which is to say that he did as he was bidden with a minimum of urging; he was intelligent, divining, and learned quickly.

    The Boss of the Lazy Y

  • The concluding phrase seems admirably chosen, when we consider the means of making people "tractable" which the magistrates of the Bay had in their hands, and were not slow to exercise, as Underhill himself had experienced.

    Among My Books First Series

  • Many experts say that Armenia still has forces that are more realistic about the situation in the country and may be more "tractable" in dialogue with Turkic neighbors.


  • While not the only possible way of measuring a concept as multifaceted as religiosity, the index is an empirically tractable, conceptually coherent, and intuitively compelling method of doing so.

    American Grace

  • The naturally aspirated BMW engine was so tractable the car could accelerate from 30-225 mph in sixth gear.

    The Best Sports Car, and Why to Skip It

  • When through a process of law the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and more easily governed by the strong arm of the law applied by the central power of leading financiers.

    Think Progress » EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coordinating Wall Street’s Stealth Lobbying Campaign To Kill Reform

  • Actually acourding to my thesaurus it is but no matter feel free to subsutute any of the following terms if you like. circumscribed, limited, restricted, tractable, accountable, complaisant, compliant, restricted, submissive, yielding the result is the same in any case.

    A California Ruling

  • “Training,” on the other hand, “is for slaves, for loyal subjects, for tractable employees, for willing consumers, for obedient soldiers.”

    Deconstructing Obama


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Because of my pig-headedness, I trend towards the intractable

    July 26, 2009