Main definitions of knot in US English:

: knot1knot2

knot1

nounPlural knots

  • 1A fastening made by tying a piece of string, rope, or something similar.

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

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

    • ‘Root-knot nematodes cause distinct knots or galls on the roots.’
    • ‘Nematodes are microscopic roundworms that attack plant roots and cause large knots.’
    • ‘These growths, or knots, shut off water and nutrients to the branch, which eventually wilts, dries up and dies.’
    • ‘Features such as knots and branches can be recognized in some of the fossils.’
    • ‘Her knife caught on a knot, and she scowled at the branch.’
    • ‘I was cutting some boards and hit a knot in the wood, and the saw kicked back and cut my leg.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After peeling the bark, the knots where the branches were need to be sanded to a very smooth finish.’
    • ‘I couldn't get a shillelagh, so I used a cane with knots in it instead.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It averaged 45.1 cm in diameter, showed little taper and was mostly free of branches or knots along its length.’
    nodule, gnarl, knurl, node, lump, knob, swelling, growth, gall, protuberance, bump
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 A 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 3.2 A hard lump of tissue in an animal or human body.
      • ‘The masseuses are friendly and seem to be able to find every little knot.’
      • ‘My skin had been super-exfoliated, every knot and tension had been teased out of my body.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 4An unpleasant feeling of tightness or tension in a part of the body.

    ‘her stomach was in knots as she unlocked the door’
    • ‘At eleven o'clock she was knocking on his door, her stomach tied in a knot and her hands shaking slightly.’
    • ‘Still, the knot in my stomach tightened as I left Jack's trailer.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She felt rooted to the spot, her disappointment and fear a cold, hard knot in the pit of her stomach.’
    • ‘His stomach tightens in a knot as he stumbles down the hall towards his bedroom.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There was a hard knot in Charlie's stomach, and he wished he'd decided to wait outside despite the rain.’
    • ‘She felt a knot in her throat but she read the letter anyway.’
    • ‘As a child, Sara would climb the tallest tree to prove the knot of fear in her belly didn't exist.’
    • ‘Peter gulped down a tense, hard knot that had formed in the back of his throat.’
    • ‘Despite his air of confidence, Lipton's stomach was in knots, hard and cold.’
    • ‘Then it all came back in a rush and the knot in my stomach tightened.’
    • ‘Chris swallowed the knot in his throat and glanced around the ring of people that now surrounded him.’
    • ‘She felt a tight knot in her stomach - had she slept through an attack?’
  • 5A small tightly packed group of people.

    ‘the little knot of people clustered around the doorway’
    • ‘A small knot of enthusiasts were invited up to the woods around Sonning Common to take a look.’
    • ‘Inside was a small knot of people, eagerly witnessing a one-hour live demonstration of Indian music and dance.’
    • ‘A small knot of developers stood around Kevin's PC.’
    • ‘They stop and chat to small knots of curious residents.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After a short time they came across a knot of people gathered outside a church.’
    • ‘There was a small knot of people by the pilot's cabin, and he was terrified that something was going to happen.’
    • ‘A knot of people gathered in Main Street to watch the waters slowly begin to rise again.’
    • ‘I only half-listened while I scanned the knot of protesters for anyone familiar.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the golden lamplight, knots of heavily armed guardsmen were talking in low voices.’
    • ‘This morning little knots of staff writers were talking to each other in low voices and then breaking off when I came by.’
    • ‘There was a knot of soldiers gathered around a white lump at the foot of a small cliff.’
    • ‘A knot of demonstrators in black wore red bandanas over their faces.’
    • ‘And then quite suddenly you stumble across a little knot of firemen, armed only with picks, small forks, and their bare hands.’
    • ‘Eleonore Riley is sitting in her favourite chair, a small knot of people around her.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My appearance at the window quickly garnered the attention of a small knot of protesters.’
    • ‘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.’
    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.

    • ‘With the standard engines, the Tiara 2900 will cruise at about 20 knots with a top speed of about 28 knots.’
    • ‘The single-seat biplane had a top speed of 108 knots per hour.’
    • ‘Two 90 horsepower engines will give it a cruising speed of 15 knots and a range of 400 miles.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Winds of 76 knots or 140 kph were recorded at the Naval Weather and Oceanography Centre on the Sunday afternoon.’
    • ‘On the ocean surface, its normal cruising speed is about 12 knots, but it is capable of attaining 20 knots in short bursts.’
    • ‘Knox-Johnston was alone at sea for an incredible 313 days, averaging just 3.39 knots round the globe.’
    • ‘The rescue went without incident, although conditions were difficult - there was a four-metre swell and winds of 20 knots.’
    • ‘The propulsion system provides a maximum submerged speed of 33 knots and a surface speed of 10 knots.’
    • ‘One is a powered catamaran that can travel at 30 knots, carrying 50 divers with their instructors and sufficient tanks for two dives.’
    • ‘With a top speed of 38 knots, they were capable of quickly getting to ships in distress.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The fact that we were flying into a 100 - knot headwind the entire way certainly wasn't helping matters.’
    • ‘These animals can reach speeds of up to 25 knots in short bursts.’
    • ‘As I applied the wheel-brakes, I looked down at the airspeed indicator and noted that we were traveling at 120 knots.’
    • ‘On the return flight, the jet fought a 100 - knot headwind.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The 81-metre ship is powered by two 12-cylinder diesel engines, and has a top speed of about 18 knots.’
    • ‘The maximum ship speed is 30 knots and the cruise speed is 18 knots.’
    1. 6.1historical A length marked by knots on a log line, as a measure of speed.
      ‘some days the vessel logged 12 knots’

verbknots, knotted, knotting

[with object]
  • 1Fasten with a knot.

    ‘the scarves were knotted loosely around their throats’
    • ‘His captor finished knotting the rope and pulled the gun back out of his pants.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Two young men sit down close by, bright scarves knotted around their scrawny necks, eyeing me speculatively.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her white sneakers were annoyingly neat and the laces were knotted tightly and securely.’
    • ‘Al finished knotting the bandage and placed a second pillow beneath the young man's head.’
    • ‘Breathing in sharply, she held her breath as she wrapped the fabric around her chest and knotted it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After knotting the bandage, Eve headed for the door.’
    • ‘She twisted her hands, trying to figure out how they had knotted the ropes.’
    • ‘He had been strangled with a piece of a T-shirt which had been knotted at the back of his neck.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He unhooks the bike frame and ties it tightly to his backpack, then doubles its rope round the wires and knots it tight.’
    • ‘He dropped to his knees in front of her, and began knotting the rope around her wrists.’
    • ‘He nodded and knotted his scarf tighter and stuffed his hands in his pockets.’
    • ‘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 stood in front of the tall mirror in his room and knotted the tie on his dress blue uniform.’
    tie, make a knot in, tie a knot in, make a bow in, loop, lace
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Make (a carpet or other decorative item) with knots.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For example, the necklace is composed of nine different strands of woodchip coco beads, knotted by hand.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2Make (something, especially hair) tangled.

    ‘the shampoo knotted my hair terribly’
    • ‘She shook her head, her black knotted hair flying around her face.’
    • ‘He could smell her hair, dirty and knotted, but still with a hint of the strawberry shampoo she had used the morning before.’
    • ‘Her beautiful brown hair was tangled and knotted.’
    • ‘She grabbed the hairbrush out of his hand and began raking it through her knotted red hair.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her normally sleek auburn hair was frizzy and knotted and her clothes were wrinkled from a night of restless sleep.’
    • ‘She took deep breaths, quickly running her fingers through her knotted hair.’
    • ‘A knotweed is so called because its roots are knotted or twisted.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her long blond hair, knotted with traces of blood, trailed behind her.’
    • ‘He stood in front of me smiling broadly, skin oiled and supple, his hair tangled in a mass of knotted dreadlocks.’
    • ‘Her hair was a mess - tangled, knotted, and all over the place, instead of gleaming, soft and in place.’
    • ‘My hair was knotted in a tangled mess, giving me a wild look.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My hair was knotted and difficult to put a brush through.’
    • ‘She had long, brown hair that was knotted and unwashed.’
    • ‘Yawning, she walked over to the oak dressing table and ran her brush through her knotted red hair.’
    • ‘The man was about thirty and unshaven, his unkempt, blonde hair knotted like some Rastafarian.’
    tangled, tangly, knotty, entangled, matted, snarled, ravelled, twisted, entwined, coiled, unkempt, uncombed, tousled
    View synonyms
  • 3Cause (a muscle) to become tense and hard.

    • ‘Soothe your knotted muscles by applying a heating pad to the back of your neck or shoulders for from ten minutes to an hour.’
    • ‘He felt her hands close gently on his shoulders, kneading his tired, knotted muscles.’
    • ‘Electricity is also used to stimulate tense and 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.’
    • ‘He seemingly did not notice, so she put her hands on his shoulders and began kneading his knotted muscles.’
    • ‘She gently kneaded his knotted muscles as she spoke to their son.’
    • ‘I quit talking as his hands began to knead my tired, knotted muscles and one by one, I felt them all begin to slacken.’
    • ‘In trigger-point injections, you may feel a sharp pain or muscle twitching when the needle hits the knotted muscle.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She went to the bathroom to run a hot bath to help release what she thought was knotted muscles.’
    • ‘Stretching out her sore and knotted muscles, she slowly rose from her blanket.’
    • ‘Frank exhaled, feeling a lessening of the tension that had been knotting his stomach muscles all week.’
    • ‘Hands traveled down my back, massaging my knotted muscles.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her fingers dug expertly into the knotted muscles of my shoulders, pummelled my back, massaged the tension out of my neck.’
    • ‘After about 10 minutes, I felt muscles knotted from a 12-week training schedule start to loosen up.’
    1. 3.1no object (of the stomach) tighten as a result of nervousness or tension.
      • ‘I took a deep breath and tried to cool my face, my stomach knotting itself, as he went to order his coffee.’
      • ‘She walked through the giant doors in the huge gothic building and her stomach began to knot up.’
      • ‘Her stomach knotted into a hard ball of fear, but she knew enough not to let them see it.’
      • ‘But now, Jess could feel her stomach turning, knotting up inside her and making her nauseous.’
      • ‘Upon approaching the castle's wooden drawbridge, Jake's stomach began knotting, twisting up until it hurt.’
      • ‘Her stomach knotted together, her heart jammed in her throat.’
      • ‘He plodded along, his stomach knotting more and more with each step.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I could feel my stomach knotting up and I was shivering.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Chills ran up and down his entire body, and he felt his stomach knotting fearfully.’
      • ‘Her lip quivered slightly and her stomach knotted again.’
      • ‘My stomach's all knotted up and I feel like I'm going to get sick.’
      • ‘My stomach knots itself in fear as I wait for the appearance of a man who controls my destiny, my Fate, and my life.’
      • ‘Now my stomach knotted as I wondered what I'd gotten myself into.’
      • ‘She glanced at the signature first, her stomach knotting as the glance confirmed it was from Phillip.’
      • ‘Donna can feel her stomach knotting in anticipation.’
      • ‘We usually get there early and sit around waiting for ages to soundcheck, my stomach gently knotting and unknotting with impatience.’
      • ‘He knew by the way his stomach was knotting up what was to come.’
      • ‘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

  • tie someone (up) in knots

    • informal Make someone completely confused.

      ‘they tied themselves in knots over what to call the country’
      • ‘I'm sorry, but I think Hunter is tying himself in knots here.’
      • ‘That the administration had to handle it so carefully is a testament to how much the issue ties them in knots.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The United States Postal Service is tied in knots.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My subconscious is trying to tie me in knots, but it won't work, though I half-wish it would.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • tie the knot

    • informal Get married.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When we met we had both already been married and we had a whirlwind romance of just six weeks before tying the knot.’
      • ‘The couple - who each have been married twice before - tied the knot 11 years ago in a register office.’
      • ‘If you're planning on tying the knot, be prepared for the marriage tax penalty.’
      • ‘They tied the knot soon afterwards and have been happily married for 16 years.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

knot

/nät//nɑt/

Main definitions of knot in US English:

: knot1knot2

knot2

nounPlural knots

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

    Genus Calidris, family Scolopacidae: two species, in particular the red knot (C. canutus), which breeds in the Arctic and winters in the southern hemisphere

    • ‘The Humber Estuary supports more than 150,000 birds each year including knot, lapwing, golden plover and breeding little terns.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

Late Middle English: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

knot

/nät//nɑt/