• WordNet 3.6
    • adj knotty tangled in knots or snarls "a mass of knotted string","snarled thread"
    • adj knotty making great mental demands; hard to comprehend or solve or believe "a baffling problem","I faced the knotty problem of what to have for breakfast","a problematic situation at home"
    • adj knotty highly complex or intricate and occasionally devious "the Byzantine tax structure","Byzantine methods for holding on to his chairmanship","convoluted legal language","convoluted reasoning","the plot was too involved","a knotty problem","got his way by labyrinthine maneuvering","Oh, what a tangled web we weave"- Sir Walter Scott","tortuous legal procedures","tortuous negotiations lasting for months"
    • adj knotty used of old persons or old trees; covered with knobs or knots "gnarled and knotted hands","a knobbed stick"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Knotty Difficult; intricate; perplexed. "A knotty point to which we now proceed"
    • Knotty Full of knots; knotted; having many knots; as, knotty timber; a knotty rope.
    • Knotty Hard; rugged; as, a knotty head.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • knotty Full of knots; having many knots.
    • knotty Hard; rugged.
    • knotty Difficult; intricate; perplexing; involved.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Knotty containing knots: hard, rugged: difficult: intricate
    • ***


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. cnotta; Ger. knoten, Dan. knude, L. nodus.


In literature:

It was a knotty problem.
"Jim Spurling, Fisherman" by Albert Walter Tolman
We'll discuss this knotty point.
"The Submarine Hunters" by Percy F. Westerman
These researches practically clear up this knotty question.
"Alcohol: A Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine, How and Why" by Martha M. Allen
The Tarjum, who showed great interest in all our things, took a particular fancy to its knotty fabric.
"An Explorer's Adventures in Tibet" by A. Henry Savage Landor
Dey wus a liddle tough an' knotty, But I chawed 'em lak a goat.
"Negro Folk Rhymes" by Thomas W. Talley
The action of the infinitesimal dose was a knotty question.
"Doctor Jones' Picnic" by S. E. Chapman
Only one knotty discussion had arisen.
"That Girl Montana" by Marah Ellis Ryan
It was a knotty dilemma.
"The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07" by Various
It is a knotty little problem and a fascinating one.
"The Canterbury Puzzles" by Henry Ernest Dudeney
Her mind hurried back to the knotty problem.
"Glory and the Other Girl" by Annie Hamilton Donnell

In poetry:

So crooked, so knotty,
So jaggèd and bare—
Indeed would the dew
Keep her mansion of air!
"The Dew-Drop: A Metrical Fantasy" by Samuel Lover
O, the sharp pangs of smarting pain
My dear Redeemer bore,
When knotty whips and ragged thorns
His sacred body tore!
"Hymn 95" by Isaac Watts
But knotty whips and ragged thorns
In vain do I accuse;
In vain I blame the Roman bands,
And the more spiteful Jews.
"Hymn 95" by Isaac Watts
But ere it fell, two thundering blows
Upon his scull descend;
From Ursine's knotty club they came,
Who ran to save his friend.
"Valentine and Ursine" by Anonymous British
A comrade of the chinquapin,
He looks into its knotty eyes
And sees its heart; and, deep within,
Its soul that makes him wise.
"Comradery" by Madison Julius Cawein
I saw in scarr'd and knotty bole,
The fresh'ning of the sap;
When timid spring gave first small dole,
Of sunbeams thro' bare boughs that stole,
I saw the bright'ning blossoms roll,
From summer's high pil'd lap.
""The Earth Waxeth Old."" by Isabella Valancy Crawford

In news:

Families' Ties Can Get Knotty.
Mastodon's 2009 LP Crack The Skye is mad-knotty metal, long on virtuoso licks and neck-snap time-signature shifts.
Review: Knotty Pine on the Bayou.
Owner/chef John Caulfield serves up some tasty Cajun-influenced cuisine at Knotty Pine on the Bayou.
The long-awaited reopening of Knotty Pine Barbecue kicked off at 11 am Monday in Broken Arrow.
Making a soft pretzel is a knotty challenge.
Jim Rice said neither his wife, Regan, nor his banker were particularly supportive of his idea to revive Knotty Pine Barbeque in Broken Arrow.
Knotty Pine Barbecue opens in Broken Arrow.
Knotty Pine Barbecue opens today in Broken Arrow.
FDA Regulation of Pharmacies Has Knotty History.
2009 Rodney Strong Knotty Vines Zinfandel.
Always one of my favorites with pasta, the Rodney Strong Knotty Vines Zinfandel was so good with my steak the other night, it almost made me forget about Cabernet Sauvignon and fillet mignon.
MOUNT LAUREL — A rear window was forced open and about $9,000 in cash and jewelry was stolen from a home on Knotty Oak Drive in the Timbercrest development between Sept 26 and Monday, police said Wednesday.
Husband's Fundraising a ' Knotty Problem' in Clinton Nomination.
Columbia's Knotty Noose Problem, Part 1 There's still no culprit for a notorious noose at Teachers College—but plenty of evidence behind the firing of Madonna Constantine.

In science:

They are appreciably bright both in Hα and [S ii] and present a knotty structure, In addition, their axis of symmetry point toward IRAS 18014 − 2428, although there is a slight difference in their apparent directions.
Geysers in the Lagoon: new Herbig-Haro objects in M8
HH 897. – This object consist of three emission features with irregular and knotty morphologies.
Geysers in the Lagoon: new Herbig-Haro objects in M8
Evidence for jet-ISM interaction in CSS(cid:146)s is strong, including bent, knotty jets and aligned optical emission (de Vries et al. 1997).
Gamma-ray bursts, BL Lacs, Supernovae, and Interacting Galaxies
The blue fraction of the cluster population shows morphologies similar to Sb-Sdm/Irr galaxies with compact knotty regions of star formation.
Near-infrared adaptive optics observations of galaxy clusters: Abell 262 at z=0.0157, J1836.3CR at z=0.414, and PKS 0743-006 at z=0.994
This appearance has brought forward the idea that the outer annulus is associated with the blast wave shock and that the knotty ring further inside contains the reverse shock heated ejecta.
X-rays from Supernova Remnants