tie into knots

Confuse, upset, or bewilder, as in He tied himself into knots when he tried to explain how the engine works. This metaphoric idiom transfers a knotted tangle to mental confusion. [Late 1800s]


Nearby words

  1. tie beam,
  2. tie clasp,
  3. tie down,
  4. tie in,
  5. tie into,
  6. tie line,
  7. tie one on,
  8. tie one's hands,
  9. tie plate,
  10. tie plug

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.