9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[not-ee] /ˈnɒt i/
adjective, knottier, knottiest.
having knots; full of knots:
a knotty piece of wood.
involved, intricate, or difficult:
a knotty problem.
Origin of knotty
1200-50; Middle English cnotti. See knot1, -y1
Related forms
knottily, adverb
knottiness, noun
unknotty, adjective
2. complex, complicated. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for knotty
  • On the knotty but crucial question of how to reduce deforestation and the emissions it causes, progress was scanty.
  • It cloaks its craggy melodies within knotty instrumental textures.
  • For anyone wondering how pointlessly knotty the film itself can become, that's a fair indication.
  • The twigs are slender, spreading, zigzag with short or dark brown knotty spurs.
  • Tau forms knotty tangles that skew communication between nerve cells in the brain.
  • Knotroot foxtail is a native perennial with short, knotty rhizomes.
  • On a knotty, gnarly block of wood you'll need to start your split from the outside edges and slab off the sides.
  • Situated in a quiet wooded setting, the cabin is furnished with log-style, knotty pine furniture.
British Dictionary definitions for knotty


adjective -tier, -tiest
(of wood, rope, etc) full of or characterized by knots
extremely difficult or intricate
Derived Forms
knottily, adverb
knottiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for knotty

mid-13c. (figurative use early 13c.), from knot (n.) + -y (2). Related: Knottiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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