Definition of knotty in English:



  • 1Full of knots:

    ‘panelling in knotty pine’
    • ‘Bright-coloured petals in contrast with the knotty, wrinkled old branches of the trees have provided inspiration to poets and painters for centuries.’
    • ‘The 31-room lodge sits right on Lake Superior and is all Scandinavian, with hand-hewn beams, massive stone fireplaces, and guest rooms of high-gloss knotty pine.’
    • ‘My black hair streamed out behind me knotty and tangled from last night.’
    • ‘Indirect sunlight filters into the cool, shadowy space and creates a reddish glow off the smooth boards and knotty trunks.’
    • ‘The man was wide across the shoulders, the madras plaid making him look like a senior-division body builder, knotty arms twisting from his sleeves.’
    • ‘Hotel du Lac Carling is quiet, with an understated ambience that washes over you as soon as you pull up beside the waterfall in front of a modern gray stone and knotty pine lodge.’
    • ‘She closed the shower curtain and entangled her fingers in her knotty hair.’
    • ‘She really didn't understand how her hair got so knotty.’
    • ‘When Arthur comes in from work in his bib and brace, his sleeves are rolled up above his elbows, and I see the inside of his arms, the sinews and knotty veins.’
    • ‘B-I-N will seal porous surfaces, like new wood, and seal off knots and sappy streaks in knotty pine so they won't bleed through and ruin the paint job.’
    • ‘Wood - in the simple knotty pine cabinets and furniture pieces - adds warmth.’
    • ‘Step one of Judy's transformation was to tackle the stained knotty pine walls with ‘quite a few gallons of paint.’’
    • ‘Dotted with extraordinary trees like the baobab with its thick knotty trunk and root-like branches, the park teems with wildlife.’
    • ‘These range from the pale silvery hue of maple to the warm gold, knotty style of pine, and from the classic mid-brown of oak to the rich darkness of walnut.’
    • ‘On the inside is knotty pine for the walls/ceiling and an oak hardwood floor.’
    • ‘Here, raised-panel cabinets crafted of knotty pine evoke the old-world charm of French country kitchens.’
    • ‘The boat's knotty pine interior brought back memories of an Adirondack camp.’
    • ‘The room's ceiling was very high, with beams of knotty pine that looked dusty from neglect.’
    • ‘The bunnies, all Cashmere Lops, were said to be in a good condition, albeit with slightly knotty coats.’
    • ‘It remains a casual place, more knotty pine than mahogany - even though for generations it has been a second home for many Hollywood stars who first discovered it when they came up for filming.’
    gnarled, knotted, knurled, nodular, knobbly, lumpy, bumpy, rugged, rough, coarse
    knotted, tangled, tangly, twisted, entangled, ravelled, snarled, matted
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  • 2Extremely difficult or complex:

    ‘a knotty legal problem’
    • ‘Mr Dexter said: ‘Insurance is increasingly becoming a knotty problem.’’
    • ‘The story raises a knotty, if hypothetical, issue: Is it possible that well-intentioned efforts like the Jordan Valley project might ultimately be self-defeating?’
    • ‘This in turn relates to knotty questions about the legitimacy of intervention and ‘just war’ concepts.’
    • ‘She says that despite their political differences, Johnson's the first person to turn to over any knotty policy question.’
    • ‘Family businesses present an especially knotty problem because in those companies, power is often wielded by owners wedded to the past.’
    • ‘I know its a knotty problem with lots of attendant issues, but it's well worth mulling over the possibilities.’
    • ‘Confusion about what is and is not within the legitimate scope of medicine risks leading the profession into a future full of unmet expectations and knotty ethical quandaries.’
    • ‘A strong political will on part of the government and a positive, sincere approach from authorities is needed to solve this knotty problem.’
    • ‘For all its knotty problems, Yahoo still remains in a far better position to regain and increase its value than many other competing companies that were affected by the deflation of the Internet phenomenon.’
    • ‘He spent much time trying to tease out this knotty problem with Laing.’
    • ‘But don't think that specialized clinics are the only places prepared to help couples deal with this knotty problem.’
    • ‘After the keynote speech, Ando unwound at a dinner for a few journalists, where talk turned to the knotty problem of digital rights.’
    • ‘Some participants in the talks expressed hope that the agreement would create momentum for compromise on other knotty issues such as Social Security and immigration.’
    • ‘The newspaper also dwells on the jury selection in the original federal trial, but it never once mentions the truly knotty constitutional issue involved - double jeopardy.’
    • ‘Several knotty taxonomic problems were addressed in this issue.’
    • ‘That brings us back to the knotty dilemma of the reliability of intelligence information and the difficulty in interpreting it.’
    • ‘The center tries to foment debate, providing daily forums for visitors to discuss knotty topics (such as free speech, privacy and the Internet, the day I was there).’
    • ‘Mainstream economists, when faced with this knotty problem, reply that there is nothing wrong with using models with unrealistic assumptions - as long as the models accurately predict events.’
    • ‘This is the knotty problem facing many Chinese and foreign automakers, who must choose between two international auto shows to be held in Shanghai this year.’
    • ‘There's no shortage of playwrights wrestling with the knotty problems of the modern world.’
    complex, complicated, involved, intricate, convoluted, byzantine, tangled, tortuous
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