Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.
December 13th, 2014
Episode 44 of 689 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 13, 2014 is: tractable \TRAK-tuh-bul\ adjective 1 : capable of being easily led, taught, or controlled 2 : easily handled, managed, or wrought Examples: The couple had hoped to find a tractable and obedient dog that wouldn't cause too much trouble, but instead they got Rufus and their life has never been the same. "But values have been steadily rising simply because it's such a good driver's car. It's incredibly tractable and usablemore so than any other car I can think of from that period, in fact." Dylan Miles, quoted in Classic Driver, November 14, 2014 Did you know? Obedient, docile, and amenable are synonyms of tractable, but those four words have slightly different shades of meaning. Tractable describes an individual whose character permits easy handling, while docile implies a predisposition to submit readily to authority. Obedient is often used to describe compliance with authority, although that compliance is not necessarily offered eagerly. Amenable, on the other hand, is usually used when one cooperates out of a desire to be agreeable. Tractable dates from the early 16th century and derives from the Latin verb tractare ("to handle" or "to treat"). Despite the resemblance, this root did not give us the noun tractor or verbs such as contract or attractthose all derive from a loosely related Latin verb trahere ("to draw or drag").
Have you trembled ‘round the campfire as the ghost stories are told? Do tales of horrors wrought by nature and beyond strike fear in your soul? Is it best when you are afraid to turn out the light? Thrill to stories that strike at your deepest fears, as host Stephen Kilpatrick brings the best of horror fiction to your ears and your mind, read to you by the most chilling narrators that podcasting has to offer. <br /> <br /> Podcasting the finest in genre fiction, Tales to Terrify is where the depths of horror reveal the truths of good, evil, and the human spirit in the District of Wonders podcast network. Like all shows in the District of Wonders, Tales to Terrify is supported by a welcoming community of dedicated fans and contributors. Subscribe today, and begin your journey through the spine-tingling depths of storytelling.<br /> <br /> Everyone has a story in the District of Wonders. Come and find yours.