- pertaining to Gordius, ancient king of Phrygia, who tied a knot (the Gordian knot) that, according to prophecy, was to be undone only by the person who was to rule Asia, and that was cut, rather than untied, by Alexander the Great.
- resembling the Gordian knot in intricacy.
- cut the Gordian knot, to act quickly and decisively in a difficult situation; solve a problem boldly.
Origin of Gordian
1555–65; < Latin Gordi(us) (< Greek Górdios Gordius) + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for gordian
Of course, if we can mix our classical references, Russia has its Sword of Damocles to cut this Gordian Knot.Ravenous Russia? Thirsty Crimea.
Oleg Shynkarenko, Will Cathcart
May 4, 2014
Berlusconi, it is true, did not cut this Gordian knot, but neither did he tie it in the first place.Berlusconi Exits, and an Era of Sexist Buffoonery Is Over
November 17, 2011
Entwined within this Gordian knot is a truth so terrible as to be rarely spoken.Obama's Historic Mideast Gamble
Leslie H. Gelb
May 21, 2011
"That's what I call cutting the Gordian knot," said M. Grimaldi.
You must make up your mind, and cut the Gordian knot, like Alexander.
You can't untie your Gordian knot because it can't be untied—you've got to cut it.The Clock that Had no Hands
The proof of this last was that he took a revolver to his Gordian knot.In a Little Town
"I have something to tell you," he says, cutting the Gordian knot at a clean stroke.Floyd Grandon's Honor
Amanda Minnie Douglas