Definition of knotty in US English:



  • 1Full of knots.

    ‘the room was paneled 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.’
    • ‘Step one of Judy's transformation was to tackle the stained knotty pine walls with ‘quite a few gallons of paint.’’
    • ‘She closed the shower curtain and entangled her fingers in her knotty hair.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My black hair streamed out behind me knotty and tangled from last night.’
    • ‘The bunnies, all Cashmere Lops, were said to be in a good condition, albeit with slightly knotty coats.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She really didn't understand how her hair got so knotty.’
    • ‘Wood - in the simple knotty pine cabinets and furniture pieces - adds warmth.’
    • ‘The room's ceiling was very high, with beams of knotty pine that looked dusty from neglect.’
    • ‘Indirect sunlight filters into the cool, shadowy space and creates a reddish glow off the smooth boards and knotty trunks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Here, raised-panel cabinets crafted of knotty pine evoke the old-world charm of French country kitchens.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On the inside is knotty pine for the walls/ceiling and an oak hardwood floor.’
    • ‘Dotted with extraordinary trees like the baobab with its thick knotty trunk and root-like branches, the park teems with wildlife.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The boat's knotty pine interior brought back memories of an Adirondack camp.’
    • ‘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.’
    gnarled, knotted, knurled, nodular, knobbly, lumpy, bumpy, rugged, rough, coarse
    knotted, tangled, tangly, twisted, entangled, ravelled, snarled, matted
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    1. 1.1 (of a problem or matter) extremely difficult or intricate.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After the keynote speech, Ando unwound at a dinner for a few journalists, where talk turned to the knotty problem of digital rights.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There's no shortage of playwrights wrestling with the knotty problems of the modern world.’
      • ‘I know its a knotty problem with lots of attendant issues, but it's well worth mulling over the possibilities.’
      • ‘This in turn relates to knotty questions about the legitimacy of intervention and ‘just war’ concepts.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Mr Dexter said: ‘Insurance is increasingly becoming a knotty problem.’’
      • ‘Several knotty taxonomic problems were addressed in this issue.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘But don't think that specialized clinics are the only places prepared to help couples deal with this knotty problem.’
      • ‘That brings us back to the knotty dilemma of the reliability of intelligence information and the difficulty in interpreting it.’
      • ‘She says that despite their political differences, Johnson's the first person to turn to over any knotty policy question.’
      • ‘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).’
      • ‘Family businesses present an especially knotty problem because in those companies, power is often wielded by owners wedded to the past.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He spent much time trying to tease out this knotty problem with Laing.’
      • ‘A strong political will on part of the government and a positive, sincere approach from authorities is needed to solve this knotty problem.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      complex, complicated, involved, intricate, convoluted, byzantine, tangled, tortuous
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