[ gawr-dee-uhn ]

  1. 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.

  2. resembling the Gordian knot in intricacy.

Idioms about Gordian

  1. 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

Words Nearby Gordian

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Gordian in a sentence

  • He did not know whether he could break off his engagement at all, so great was his horror of ruptures, of cutting Gordian-knots.

    Overlooked | Maurice Baring
  • To follow the interlacing line of an ornament, gives the mind the pleasure of untying the Gordian knot, without cutting it.

    Needlework As Art | Marian Alford
  • The compulsory exercise of governmental authority cut the Gordian knot with the result that substantial justice now obtains.

  • It might not please him exactly but—he went round and round from one problem to another, trying to untie this Gordian knot.

    The "Genius" | Theodore Dreiser