Main definitions of knot in English

: knot1knot2

knot1

noun

  • 1A fastening made by looping a piece of string, rope, or something similar on itself and tightening it.

    ‘tie a knot at the end of the cord’
    figurative ‘a complicated knot of racial politics and pride’
    • ‘Robert almost lost his life in 1982 when he fell 15 metres because the knot in a rope released while he was rappeling.’
    • ‘It is a good idea to tie knots in the rope or cloth about 1 ft. apart, this will provide a more secure climbing surface.’
    • ‘Her hair was twisted in an elaborate knot at the back of her head.’
    • ‘Her fingers trembled, making it even harder to untie the knot.’
    • ‘It is simple enough to tie a knot in a piece of string.’
    • ‘She'd already gotten two of the knots undone, and she was sure it was just a matter of time before she was free.’
    • ‘She spied the knot in the rope that bound her ankles and immediately set to undoing it.’
    • ‘Having owned boats for years, he's great at tying knots.’
    • ‘Jodi began to pull at the remaining knots in the rope that tied her other hand.’
    • ‘Now pass the end of the line though the loop and slowly tighten the knot.’
    • ‘Immediately, he began to undo the knots of the rope by which she was bound.’
    • ‘Her hair, once strawberry blonde was now tied into a neat gray knot at the nape of her neck.’
    • ‘The knots in the rope will work themselves out in time.’
    • ‘She set the parcel on the bed, kneeling on the floor as she untied the double knot.’
    • ‘He tightened the knot on his tie and brushed an imagined piece of lint off his uniform jacket.’
    • ‘I gritted my teeth as I carefully untied the knot in the ribbon.’
    • ‘She twisted her long hair into a knot at the base of her neck and began to pin it into place.’
    • ‘I washed my face and hands and braided my hair in a tight knot at the nape of my neck.’
    • ‘Why are kids up and down the country dumping their computer games in favour of tying knots in colourful plastic strings?’
    • ‘Tie a double knot at each end of the 1/4 " wide ribbon.’
    tie, twist, loop, bow, splice, splicing, join, link, fastening, bond, intertwinement, interlacement, ligature, joint, connection
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A particular method of making a knot.
      ‘you need to master two knots, the clove hitch and the sheet bend’
      • ‘The construction of fishing nets is similar to that of recent years and it is only necessary to master the use of only two knots: the clove-hitch and the sheet-bend.’
      • ‘Rebecca came and stood behind him watching with great pleasure as he mastered the perfect knot.’
      • ‘These are the names of particular kinds of rope knots.’
      • ‘To construct Pieranski's knot, you fold a circular loop of rope and tie two multiple overhand knots in it.’
      • ‘For attaching your leader to fly line, my advice is use the simple nail knot.’
    2. 1.2An ornamental ribbon.
  • 2A tangled mass in something such as hair or wool.

    • ‘We both winced as she hit a knot in Carla's hair and Carla squeaked.’
    • ‘Old English Sheepdogs are hard to take care of, especially because they need a lot of exercise and major grooming to keep knots out of their hair.’
    • ‘It took me half an hour to brush the wet knots out of my hair.’
    • ‘Reaching for a silver comb, Luke sighed once more and started pulling the knots out of his hair.’
    • ‘This braid is a lot more difficult to accomplish if your hair has tangles or knots.’
    • ‘I pulled her hair behind her and gently began to pull the comb through the knots in her hair.’
    • ‘I smiled faintly and got off of the bed, shrinking away from him and pulling my hand through the knots in my hair.’
    • ‘The comb is specially designed to cut through knots and tangles and much less time is spent in brushing and combing your Shih Tzu.’
    • ‘Her hair was tangled in knots, she was pale, and her eyes were bloodshot.’
    • ‘She dried off the excess water from her hair and ran her fingers through it, trying to get the small knots out.’
    • ‘Sighing, I grabbed a comb and began untangling the knots in my black hair.’
    • ‘She nearly yanked a handful of her hair out while trying to get the brush through a rather large tangle of knots.’
    • ‘Marguerite winced as the serving girl yanked a brush through her hair, catching it on the wet tangles and knots.’
    • ‘It is impossible to knit from a skein without getting the wool in a knot.’
    • ‘My eyes are red and puffy, my skin is pale, and my hair is matted and full of knots.’
    • ‘His brown hair was an unruly mass of tangles and knots.’
    • ‘She stood behind Freya, and brushed carefully through her dark hair, gently easing out the tangles and knots.’
    • ‘She dragged the brush through her daughter's long hair, untangling knots as she went.’
    • ‘He flinched each time she tugged a knot out of his hair, but hardly dared to protest.’
    • ‘She pulled on the brush, trying to get a particularly difficult knot out.’
  • 3A knob, protuberance, or node in a stem, branch, or root.

    • ‘Features such as knots and branches can be recognized in some of the fossils.’
    • ‘These growths, or knots, shut off water and nutrients to the branch, which eventually wilts, dries up and dies.’
    • ‘‘Every knot on every log that goes out of here is trimmed flush, whether it is a saw log or a pulp log,’ he explains.’
    • ‘It averaged 45.1 cm in diameter, showed little taper and was mostly free of branches or knots along its length.’
    • ‘Root-knot nematodes cause distinct knots or galls on the roots.’
    • ‘I was cutting some boards and hit a knot in the wood, and the saw kicked back and cut my leg.’
    • ‘Nematodes are microscopic roundworms that attack plant roots and cause large knots.’
    • ‘The outside of the nest is camouflaged with moss, bud scales, leaves, and lichen, and often looks like a bump or knot on the branch.’
    • ‘I couldn't get a shillelagh, so I used a cane with knots in it instead.’
    • ‘After peeling the bark, the knots where the branches were need to be sanded to a very smooth finish.’
    • ‘Her knife caught on a knot, and she scowled at the branch.’
    • ‘It was a large majestic oak tree, and every knot and burl on it had a memory for me.’
    • ‘Horehound plants in the fall and winter have hard, prickly-feeling knots on the stems were the flowers bloomed.’
    • ‘Typically built in a conifer, often near cones or knots or on an old cone base, the nest can easily be mistaken for a cone.’
    nodule, gnarl, knurl, node, lump, knob, swelling, growth, gall, protuberance, bump
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1A hard mass formed in a tree trunk at the intersection with a branch, resulting in a round cross-grained piece in timber when cut through.
      • ‘Longitudinal sections of tree trunks contain knots that preserve the history of branching and can be used to interpret stand dynamics.’
      • ‘One piece of wood may be a very simple object, yet another piece may be entirely different and very complex, especially around a burl or knot.’
      • ‘The casket was made from boards with no knots from an evergreen tree.’
      • ‘Daniel ran a hand through his hair and stared at the cedar desk, absently tracing a knot in the wood with his finger.’
      • ‘Donald went over to his bed, an old, oak affair with knots in the wood and scratches on its frame, and sat down on it carefully.’
    2. 3.2A hard lump of tissue in the body.
      • ‘The masseuses are friendly and seem to be able to find every little knot.’
      • ‘From a seated position, curl one dumbbell up, feeling the muscles in your arm bunch up in a strong, searing knot as you reach the top and pause.’
      • ‘To round off the day, it's time for that rehydrating massage, which not only moisturises the body but also gets out the last few knots of tension.’
      • ‘Then his hands began to work into Jake's muscles gently and slowly working out knots and tension.’
      • ‘I squeeze her muscles once more, surprised at how the knot has completely vanished.’
      • ‘The sobs coming from the girl started to get louder, and Jon looked up at her and saw she had a pretty big knot on her head.’
      • ‘My skin had been super-exfoliated, every knot and tension had been teased out of my body.’
      • ‘I smacked my arm into a doorknob really hard, and there's a knot in the muscle of the forearm now.’
      • ‘He was sitting up with his back to her for now, one hand rubbing the newly formed knot on his head and the other holding the knife he had used to cut the tape earlier.’
  • 4An unpleasant feeling of tightness or tension in a part of the body.

    ‘her stomach was in knots as she unlocked the door’
    • ‘She felt a knot in her throat but she read the letter anyway.’
    • ‘At eleven o'clock she was knocking on his door, her stomach tied in a knot and her hands shaking slightly.’
    • ‘As a child, Sara would climb the tallest tree to prove the knot of fear in her belly didn't exist.’
    • ‘His stomach tightens in a knot as he stumbles down the hall towards his bedroom.’
    • ‘He glared at me and I felt a tight knot in my stomach.’
    • ‘That call and that feeling - that knot in your stomach - is vivid to me after all these years.’
    • ‘Then it all came back in a rush and the knot in my stomach tightened.’
    • ‘Peter gulped down a tense, hard knot that had formed in the back of his throat.’
    • ‘She felt a tight knot in her stomach - had she slept through an attack?’
    • ‘Lynn paused, feeling the knot starting to tighten again in her stomach.’
    • ‘Fear tied a knot in her stomach, and she tried to force it down.’
    • ‘She felt rooted to the spot, her disappointment and fear a cold, hard knot in the pit of her stomach.’
    • ‘She pulled herself into a ball on her bed, her misery forming a hard knot in her heart.’
    • ‘I woke up this morning with a knot of excitement and anticipation nestling comfortably in my stomach.’
    • ‘It's a testament to this book's unusual ability to straddle fantasy and literary realms that this moment creates a real knot of emotion in the reader's chest.’
    • ‘A tight knot of anger begins to form in Mike's stomach.’
    • ‘Chris swallowed the knot in his throat and glanced around the ring of people that now surrounded him.’
    • ‘Despite his air of confidence, Lipton's stomach was in knots, hard and cold.’
    • ‘Still, the knot in my stomach tightened as I left Jack's trailer.’
    • ‘There was a hard knot in Charlie's stomach, and he wished he'd decided to wait outside despite the rain.’
  • 5A small tightly packed group of people.

    ‘a knot of spectators was gathering’
    • ‘On the other hand, home economics was virtually empty, with Miss Orton teaching a small knot of girls made to do the cookery class by their parents.’
    • ‘My appearance at the window quickly garnered the attention of a small knot of protesters.’
    • ‘A small knot of men standing in front of J.R.'s split in two to get out of our way, laughing at us and pointing.’
    • ‘A small knot of enthusiasts were invited up to the woods around Sonning Common to take a look.’
    • ‘I only half-listened while I scanned the knot of protesters for anyone familiar.’
    • ‘Eleonore Riley is sitting in her favourite chair, a small knot of people around her.’
    • ‘And then quite suddenly you stumble across a little knot of firemen, armed only with picks, small forks, and their bare hands.’
    • ‘This morning little knots of staff writers were talking to each other in low voices and then breaking off when I came by.’
    • ‘A knot of people gathered in Main Street to watch the waters slowly begin to rise again.’
    • ‘In the golden lamplight, knots of heavily armed guardsmen were talking in low voices.’
    • ‘There was a knot of soldiers gathered around a white lump at the foot of a small cliff.’
    • ‘Inside was a small knot of people, eagerly witnessing a one-hour live demonstration of Indian music and dance.’
    • ‘There was a small knot of people by the pilot's cabin, and he was terrified that something was going to happen.’
    • ‘A small knot of developers stood around Kevin's PC.’
    • ‘It's a huge affair, the prize-giving dinner, even the Governor General shows up in a knot of security men, but I want to go home.’
    • ‘They stop and chat to small knots of curious residents.’
    • ‘They'll also be playing the album to the small knot of supporters - as if being caught in the cold and the rain and having to watch the Albion isn't trial enough.’
    • ‘After a short time they came across a knot of people gathered outside a church.’
    • ‘A knot of demonstrators in black wore red bandanas over their faces.’
    • ‘Back in the pub, a knot of Scots to the side of the big screen became as bored as the English fans with a less-than-exciting match.’
    cluster, group, band, huddle, bunch, circle, ring, set, collection
    View synonyms
  • 6A unit of speed equivalent to one nautical mile per hour, used especially of ships, aircraft, or winds.

    • ‘The propulsion system provides a maximum submerged speed of 33 knots and a surface speed of 10 knots.’
    • ‘The scooter was a propeller-driven device that could pull a diver at about five knots and had a battery life of about three hours.’
    • ‘On the ocean surface, its normal cruising speed is about 12 knots, but it is capable of attaining 20 knots in short bursts.’
    • ‘The area had been hit by heavy rainstorms with wind speeds of about 10 knots per hour, which had caused the sea level to rise by about 1.5 meters.’
    • ‘On the return flight, the jet fought a 100 - knot headwind.’
    • ‘The 81-metre ship is powered by two 12-cylinder diesel engines, and has a top speed of about 18 knots.’
    • ‘Knox-Johnston was alone at sea for an incredible 313 days, averaging just 3.39 knots round the globe.’
    • ‘With a top speed of 38 knots, they were capable of quickly getting to ships in distress.’
    • ‘With the standard engines, the Tiara 2900 will cruise at about 20 knots with a top speed of about 28 knots.’
    • ‘Winds of 76 knots or 140 kph were recorded at the Naval Weather and Oceanography Centre on the Sunday afternoon.’
    • ‘On the outward downwind leg, against the flood tide, he covered the two miles in ‘half a quarter of one hour’, an impressive speed of sixteen knots.’
    • ‘One is a powered catamaran that can travel at 30 knots, carrying 50 divers with their instructors and sufficient tanks for two dives.’
    • ‘The rescue went without incident, although conditions were difficult - there was a four-metre swell and winds of 20 knots.’
    • ‘The fact that we were flying into a 100 - knot headwind the entire way certainly wasn't helping matters.’
    • ‘There had been a storm warning at 1.15 p.m., with the wind speed touching 50 knots and the waves rising up to 25 feet.’
    • ‘As I applied the wheel-brakes, I looked down at the airspeed indicator and noted that we were traveling at 120 knots.’
    • ‘Two 90 horsepower engines will give it a cruising speed of 15 knots and a range of 400 miles.’
    • ‘The maximum ship speed is 30 knots and the cruise speed is 18 knots.’
    • ‘These animals can reach speeds of up to 25 knots in short bursts.’
    • ‘The single-seat biplane had a top speed of 108 knots per hour.’
    1. 6.1historical A length marked by knots on a log line, as a measure of speed.
      ‘some days the vessel logged 12 knots’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Fasten with a knot.

    ‘the scarves were knotted loosely around their throats’
    ‘a knotted rope’
    • ‘Two young men sit down close by, bright scarves knotted around their scrawny necks, eyeing me speculatively.’
    • ‘After knotting the bandage, Eve headed for the door.’
    • ‘He stood in front of the tall mirror in his room and knotted the tie on his dress blue uniform.’
    • ‘Aidan knew right away the man was homeless: he wore a rumpled, torn black suit that looked like he snatched it from a dumpster, and a frayed tie loosely knotted around his neck.’
    • ‘He unhooks the bike frame and ties it tightly to his backpack, then doubles its rope round the wires and knots it tight.’
    • ‘He nodded and knotted his scarf tighter and stuffed his hands in his pockets.’
    • ‘Al finished knotting the bandage and placed a second pillow beneath the young man's head.’
    • ‘The last time I saw him a little gray had come into his sideburns but he still looked handsome in his dark suits and expertly knotted ties.’
    • ‘He dropped to his knees in front of her, and began knotting the rope around her wrists.’
    • ‘Her white sneakers were annoyingly neat and the laces were knotted tightly and securely.’
    • ‘Investigators also found some ties that had been knotted together and believe Yu had intended to use them as a rope before deciding to use electrical cord instead.’
    • ‘Breathing in sharply, she held her breath as she wrapped the fabric around her chest and knotted it.’
    • ‘He had been strangled with a piece of a T-shirt which had been knotted at the back of his neck.’
    • ‘His captor finished knotting the rope and pulled the gun back out of his pants.’
    • ‘She twisted her hands, trying to figure out how they had knotted the ropes.’
    • ‘Beard, beret, curly hair and bandana knotted round his throat, he was the epitome of a certain type of radical chic, and his image is to be found on the walls of student rooms even today.’
    • ‘She joined him shortly afterwards, shuddering and knotting the shawl at her throat as the wintry breeze hit her warm skin.’
    • ‘It would make a big difference if people would just followed simple steps such as putting all rubbish in a black bin bag, which should be knotted to prevent any overspill.’
    • ‘Nearby a female worker tests for leaks by filling condoms with water, knotting the ends, and kneading them like bread dough on a brown paper towel.’
    • ‘I would watch him shave and knot his tie every morning and remember thinking that it was how I wanted to look when I went to work.’
    tie, make a knot in, tie a knot in, make a bow in, loop, lace
    fasten, secure, bind, make fast, tie up, do up, lash, tether
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Make (a carpet or other decorative item) with knots.
      • ‘People, often children, are forced to do demeaning and often health destroying jobs. Try knotting Oriental carpets all day and see how long you keep your sight.’
      • ‘For example, the necklace is composed of nine different strands of woodchip coco beads, knotted by hand.’
      • ‘The carpets on display range from the Dhurri / Kelim type to very fine hand knotted ones with more than 36,000 knots per square foot.’
  • 2Make (something, especially hair) tangled.

    ‘he brushed through his knotted hair’
    • ‘Her beautiful brown hair was tangled and knotted.’
    • ‘Newborn asphyxia may also result when the umbilical cord is compressed between the baby's body and the uterine wall, or when the umbilical cord becomes knotted.’
    • ‘A knotweed is so called because its roots are knotted or twisted.’
    • ‘He stood in front of me smiling broadly, skin oiled and supple, his hair tangled in a mass of knotted dreadlocks.’
    • ‘She took deep breaths, quickly running her fingers through her knotted hair.’
    • ‘My hair was knotted and difficult to put a brush through.’
    • ‘She shook her head roughly back and forth, knotting her hair even more, which slightly annoyed Melinda who would have to help her get the tangles out in the morning.’
    • ‘My hair was knotted in a tangled mess, giving me a wild look.’
    • ‘He could smell her hair, dirty and knotted, but still with a hint of the strawberry shampoo she had used the morning before.’
    • ‘Her long blond hair, knotted with traces of blood, trailed behind her.’
    • ‘Her hair was a mess - tangled, knotted, and all over the place, instead of gleaming, soft and in place.’
    • ‘The man was about thirty and unshaven, his unkempt, blonde hair knotted like some Rastafarian.’
    • ‘She shook her head, her black knotted hair flying around her face.’
    • ‘A dog, white and black hair tangled in a knotted mess, slept at the girl's feet, paws twitching every once in a while, signs that he was dreaming.’
    • ‘He washed his face, brushed his teeth, gurgled a mouthful of Listerine, combed out his knotted hair, and changed into another pair of boxers and a shirt.’
    • ‘She grabbed the hairbrush out of his hand and began raking it through her knotted red hair.’
    • ‘She had long, brown hair that was knotted and unwashed.’
    • ‘Her normally sleek auburn hair was frizzy and knotted and her clothes were wrinkled from a night of restless sleep.’
    • ‘She yanked out the brush and began combing through that lock of knotted hair vigorously, her eyes watering slightly every time the brush hit a stubborn tangle.’
    • ‘Yawning, she walked over to the oak dressing table and ran her brush through her knotted red hair.’
    tangled, tangly, knotty, entangled, matted, snarled, ravelled, twisted, entwined, coiled, unkempt, uncombed, tousled
    mussed up
    View synonyms
  • 3Cause (a muscle) to become tense and hard.

    • ‘Hands traveled down my back, massaging my knotted muscles.’
    • ‘Frank exhaled, feeling a lessening of the tension that had been knotting his stomach muscles all week.’
    • ‘I quit talking as his hands began to knead my tired, knotted muscles and one by one, I felt them all begin to slacken.’
    • ‘Stretching out her sore and knotted muscles, she slowly rose from her blanket.’
    • ‘Some of our co-passengers would head for the spa where the expert masseuse, depending on whether he or she wanted a Swedish or aromatherapy massage, would knead their knotted muscles.’
    • ‘Electricity is also used to stimulate tense and knotted muscles.’
    • ‘After about 10 minutes, I felt muscles knotted from a 12-week training schedule start to loosen up.’
    • ‘He felt her hands close gently on his shoulders, kneading his tired, knotted muscles.’
    • ‘He seemingly did not notice, so she put her hands on his shoulders and began kneading his knotted muscles.’
    • ‘While you recline, this amazing chair does wonderful things to your body and you start feeling all that stiffness disappearing as knotted muscles begin relaxing.’
    • ‘She gently kneaded his knotted muscles as she spoke to their son.’
    • ‘Her fingers dug expertly into the knotted muscles of my shoulders, pummelled my back, massaged the tension out of my neck.’
    • ‘Here is the place to try a hot stone massage, where warm basalt stones from the desert's dry river beds are used in a deep massage to ease any knotted muscles.’
    • ‘The pool, jacuzzi, steamroom and sauna are a necessary part of the weekend rejuvenation process and if a massage therapist is on hand to squeeze out the knotted muscles, all the better.’
    • ‘Soothe your knotted muscles by applying a heating pad to the back of your neck or shoulders for from ten minutes to an hour.’
    • ‘In trigger-point injections, you may feel a sharp pain or muscle twitching when the needle hits the knotted muscle.’
    • ‘She went to the bathroom to run a hot bath to help release what she thought was knotted muscles.’
    1. 3.1[no object](of the stomach) tighten as a result of nervousness or tension.
      • ‘We usually get there early and sit around waiting for ages to soundcheck, my stomach gently knotting and unknotting with impatience.’
      • ‘Her stomach knotted together, her heart jammed in her throat.’
      • ‘He knew by the way his stomach was knotting up what was to come.’
      • ‘I took a deep breath and tried to cool my face, my stomach knotting itself, as he went to order his coffee.’
      • ‘Donna can feel her stomach knotting in anticipation.’
      • ‘I could feel my stomach knotting up and I was shivering.’
      • ‘My stomach knots itself in fear as I wait for the appearance of a man who controls my destiny, my Fate, and my life.’
      • ‘He plodded along, his stomach knotting more and more with each step.’
      • ‘She glanced at the signature first, her stomach knotting as the glance confirmed it was from Phillip.’
      • ‘Her stomach knotted into a hard ball of fear, but she knew enough not to let them see it.’
      • ‘She walked through the giant doors in the huge gothic building and her stomach began to knot up.’
      • ‘My stomach's all knotted up and I feel like I'm going to get sick.’
      • ‘I thought about calling Matt to see if he'd heard anything about this, then changed my mind when my stomach knotted up at the thought.’
      • ‘But now, Jess could feel her stomach turning, knotting up inside her and making her nauseous.’
      • ‘Now my stomach knotted as I wondered what I'd gotten myself into.’
      • ‘Upon approaching the castle's wooden drawbridge, Jake's stomach began knotting, twisting up until it hurt.’
      • ‘Chills ran up and down his entire body, and he felt his stomach knotting fearfully.’
      • ‘Her lip quivered slightly and her stomach knotted again.’
      • ‘To this day, even if I simply think about being in such a situation, my stomach knots, my body tenses, and I go into avoidance mode.’
      • ‘No matter how successful you are or how fulfilled you feel, there are nights where you toss and turn because your stomach is knotted with thoughts of failure.’

Phrases

  • at a rate of knots

    • informal Very fast.

      • ‘The well-cared-for front gardens of our parents' generation seem to be disappearing at a rate of knots.’
      • ‘I know all the companies are putting out opera DVDs at a rate of knots, and I suspect strongly that all other niche markets are doing likewise.’
      • ‘He is heading towards bankruptcy at a rate of knots, and yet it seems lenders are happy to give him more and more credit.’
      • ‘Villages are a traditional part of English scenery and the envy of many countries, so why are they being destroyed at a rate of knots?’
      • ‘The Brazilian striker has been overweight since arriving at the Reebok but has been shedding the pounds at a rate of knots.’
      • ‘As the book reaches its climax, disasters come at a rate of knots.’
      • ‘The last of the turkey has been demolished, the new toys lie in a corner and the Christmas tree is shedding its needles at a rate of knots.’
      • ‘When you drive into these little terraced streets, drivers are going at a rate of knots with no seatbelts on, oblivious to the fact that children could just step out from between two cars.’
      • ‘And a bloke drove up, spotted an incredibly tight parking place on the other side of the road, and in one movement swerved across, hit reverse and backed in at a rate of knots.’
      • ‘She talks at a rate of knots, but is charm personified.’
      • ‘Near me there used to be lots of fields which have now been turned into housing estates: the town is growing at a rate of knots.’
      rapidly, speedily, swiftly, quickly, fast, post-haste, at speed, at full speed, at the speed of light, at full tilt, as fast as one's legs can carry one, at a gallop
      promptly, immediately, briskly
      hastily, hurriedly, precipitately
      double quick, at a lick, hell for leather, pronto, at the double, at wasp speed, a mile a minute, like the wind, like a bomb, like a bat out of hell, like a scalded cat, like the deuce, like nobody's business, like lightning, like greased lightning, like a madman, like a madwoman
      like the clappers, like billy-o
      lickety-split
      apace
      View synonyms
  • get knotted

    • informal Used to express contemptuous rejection of someone.

      • ‘I would like to add, on a more personal note: get knotted, bandylegs.’
      • ‘If they find the place desperately ‘uninteresting’, they can get knotted.’
      • ‘With Debbie back at our house, I made an executive decision and told them to get knotted.’
      • ‘Instead of wasting his breath answering her specific points, he listed all his Government's glorious achievements and told her, basically, to get knotted.’
  • tie someone (up) in knots

    • informal Make someone completely confused.

      ‘journalists tied themselves in knots trying to define the word’
      • ‘My subconscious is trying to tie me in knots, but it won't work, though I half-wish it would.’
      • ‘And now the writer's home city of Dublin is tied up in knots over its attempts to celebrate the centenary of the day on which his novel Ulysses is set - June 16, 1904.’
      • ‘I would like to see an insurance policy that always pays out what it promises. Or a home loan that doesn't tie you in knots with options and clauses.’
      • ‘I certainly wouldn't let them tie me in knots over the warranty, which probably isn't worth the inaccessible paper it's printed on.’
      • ‘I'm sorry, but I think Hunter is tying himself in knots here.’
      • ‘The last time that you and I faced one another in a Committee, in a slightly different atmosphere, you were sitting in the seat that I am sitting in and doing your best to tie me in knots at every opportunity.’
      • ‘Tedious research is replaced by typing two or three words into that marvellous search machine ‘Google’, and difficult calculations no longer tie us in knots.’
      • ‘That the administration had to handle it so carefully is a testament to how much the issue ties them in knots.’
      • ‘The United States Postal Service is tied in knots.’
      • ‘A day on the water can calm nerves, rejuvenate the spirit and produce a general feeling of wellbeing, at least until we return to whatever tied us in knots in the first place.’
  • tie the knot

    • informal Get married.

      • ‘The couple were married for 42 years - tying the knot when Sylvia was 17 and John was 18.’
      • ‘It's easy to see why my mother fell in love with him when she was just 17, and married him - despite her own mother's misgivings - a year later, eloping to Scotland and tying the knot in secret.’
      • ‘When we met we had both already been married and we had a whirlwind romance of just six weeks before tying the knot.’
      • ‘Cohabitors still had a higher divorce rate and a higher level of discontent in their married life compared to couples who'd been living separately before tying the knot.’
      • ‘If you're planning on tying the knot, be prepared for the marriage tax penalty.’
      • ‘The couple - who each have been married twice before - tied the knot 11 years ago in a register office.’
      • ‘He is 10 years older than me and has been married twice before, both times to women who turned out NOT to be nice people and about whom he had misgivings even before tying the knot.’
      • ‘There was a rise of nearly 5% in the number of weddings in 2003 with 267,700 couples tying the knot in England and Wales according the Office of National Statistics.’
      • ‘They tied the knot soon afterwards and have been happily married for 16 years.’
      • ‘She said more and more couples were heading to Scotland to get married since Madonna and Ritchie tied the knot at Skibo castle in the Highlands in 2000.’

Origin

Old English cnotta, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch knot.

Pronunciation:

knot

/nɒt/

Main definitions of knot in English

: knot1knot2

knot2

noun

  • A small, relatively short-billed sandpiper, with a reddish-brown or blackish breast in the breeding season.

    • ‘The possibility of arctic birds like the red knot and the dunlin disappearing from Scotland's shores is yet another symptom of a sickening planet.’
    • ‘Many immature avocets spend their first summer after fledging well south of breeding areas, as do immature grey plovers, bar-tailed godwits and knot.’
    • ‘The great knot flies 3,000 miles from northwest Australia to its breeding ground in eastern China.’
    • ‘You can see red knots, dunlins, and sandpipers as they rest and forage for food on the beaches, using the untouched island habitat as a safe haven during their journey south.’
    • ‘The Humber Estuary supports more than 150,000 birds each year including knot, lapwing, golden plover and breeding little terns.’

Origin

Late Middle English: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

knot

/nɒt/