[ not-ee ]
/ ˈnɒt i /

adjective, knot·ti·er, knot·ti·est.

having knots; full of knots: a knotty piece of wood.
involved, intricate, or difficult: a knotty problem.

Origin of knotty

First recorded in 1200–50, knotty is from the Middle English word cnotti. See knot1, -y1
Related formsknot·ti·ly, adverbknot·ti·ness, nounun·knot·ty, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for knotty

British Dictionary definitions for knotty


/ (ˈnɒtɪ) /

adjective -tier or -tiest

(of wood, rope, etc) full of or characterized by knots
extremely difficult or intricate
Derived Formsknottily, adverbknottiness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for knotty



mid-13c. (figurative use early 13c.), from knot (n.) + -y (2). Related: Knottiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper