[ gawr-dee-uh n ]
/ ˈgɔr di ən /
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.
Where Does The Phrase “Cut The Mustard” Come From?As with many slang and idiomatic phrases, the origin can be a bit unclear. The first recorded use of the phrase cut the mustard was by O. Henry in 1907, in a story called The Heart of the West: “I looked around and found a proposition that exactly cut the mustard”. The modern sense of the idiom is ‘to succeed; to have the ability to do something; to come …
bowl cutRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
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. 2019
cut the Gordian knot
To solve a notoriously difficult problem in a quick and decisive manner: “The president hoped that his bold new anti-inflation plan would cut the Gordian knot.” (See Gordian knot under “Mythology and Folklore.”)
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.