follow Dictionary.com

Capitol vs. capital? What's the difference?

knotty

[not-ee] /ˈnɒt i/
adjective, knottier, knottiest.
1.
having knots; full of knots:
a knotty piece of wood.
2.
involved, intricate, or difficult:
a knotty problem.
Origin of knotty
1200-1250
1200-50; Middle English cnotti. See knot1, -y1
Related forms
knottily, adverb
knottiness, noun
unknotty, adjective
Synonyms
2. complex, complicated.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for knotty
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Descending by means of a knotty young tree which previous visitors have let down, we find ourselves on a floor of ice.

    The Columbia River William Denison Lyman
  • The Sun reported this answer to his council, who debated the question, which was knotty.

    The History of Louisiana Le Page Du Pratz
  • The base is compressed and very smooth, not knotty as in the stag.

    Lachesis Lapponica Carl von Linn
  • Its bark is more rough and knotty than that of the palm-tree.

    The History of Louisiana Le Page Du Pratz
  • Their obscure and knotty language only serves to give peculiar 419 brilliancy to the not uncommon passages of noble perspicacity.

  • He had always meant to settle for himself that knotty question.

    A Son of Hagar Sir Hall Caine
  • "I want the right thing to be done," he replied slowly, as if deliberating on a knotty point.

    Mrs. Thompson William Babington Maxwell
  • "Yes, that's it," muttered the other, in the tone of a man who was tired of a knotty problem.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for knotty

knotty

/ˈnɒtɪ/
adjective -tier, -tiest
1.
(of wood, rope, etc) full of or characterized by knots
2.
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for knotty
adj.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for knotty

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for knotty

13
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for knotty