capable of being easily controlled, managed, or influenced.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



compliant, obedient, submissive, manageable, docile, amenable, yielding, malleable, pliant.


unmanageable, disobedient, unruly, headstrong, stubborn, uncontrollable, intractable, difficult, obstinate.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun tractabilities, tractableness, tractablenesses, tractability
Verb None
Adjective tractable
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • She found him to be a very tractable employee, who was always willing to take on new tasks.

  • The horse was easily trained, proving to be a very tractable animal.

  • Although the child tended to misbehave at home, he was always polite and tractable with his teacher.

  • The negotiations were much more tractable than we had initially anticipated, and a mutually beneficial agreement was quickly reached.


The word ’tractable’ is often used to describe someone or something that is easily controllable or adaptable. It is derived from the Latin word ’tractabilis’, which means “that which can be handled” or “that which can be managed.”

The prefix ’trac-’ refers to “pulling or drawing,” while the suffix ‘-able’ means “able to be done.” This combination implies that the word ’tractable’ refers to something that can be easily drawn or guided in a certain direction, whether it be a physical object or a person’s behavior.

One can also find other derivatives of this word, such as ‘intractable,’ which means “difficult to control or manage,” or ‘untractable,’ which means “resistant to being controlled or guided.” These variations emphasize the opposite meaning of the base word and its prefix.

In psychology, ’tractable’ is commonly used to describe people who are considered compliant or easy to influence, while its antonym (intractable) is used to describe people who are more resistant to change or who are harder to work with. In terms of animals, it can refer to those that are easily trained or tamed. For instance, dogs are generally considered to be tractable animals, making them ideal candidates for service, therapy or other such programs. Horses are also a good example of tractability since they can be tamed relatively quickly with the right training.

Overall, the word ’tractable’ is a versatile term that can be used in many different contexts, from describing people to animals or even to materials such as metals or plastics, which can be easily molded or shaped. Its Latin roots and the way it is constructed allow for a wide range of applications, making it an important word to know and understand.