Gordian knot

/ (ˈɡɔːdɪən) /

noun

(in Greek legend) a complicated knot, tied by King Gordius of Phrygia, that Alexander the Great cut with a sword
a complicated and intricate problem (esp in the phrase cut the Gordian knot)

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Words nearby Gordian knot

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for Gordian knot

Gordian knot

A complex knot tied by a Greek king. According to legend, whoever loosed it would rule all Asia. Alexander the Great, according to some accounts, undid the Gordian knot by cutting through it with his sword.

notes for Gordian knot

By extension, to “cut the Gordian knot” is to solve quickly any very complex problem or to get to the heart of a problem.
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.