Gordian knot

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Gor·di·an knot

1. An exceedingly complicated problem or deadlock.
2. An intricate knot tied by King Gordius of Phrygia and cut by Alexander the Great with his sword after hearing an oracle promise that whoever could undo it would be the next ruler of Asia.

Gordian knot

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

Gor′di•an knot′

(ˈgɔr di ən)
1. a knot tied by Gordius, a legendary king of Phrygia, that, according to a prophecy, was to be undone only by the person who would rule Asia: Alexander the Great, not able to untie the knot, is said to have cut it with his sword.
2. an intricate, seemingly insoluble problem.
cut the Gordian knot, to solve a problem boldly and decisively.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Gordian knot - any very difficult problem; insoluble in its own terms
problem - a question raised for consideration or solution; "our homework consisted of ten problems to solve"
2.Gordian knot - an intricate knot tied by Gordius, the king of Phrygia, and cut by the sword of Alexander the Great after he heard that whoever undid it would become ruler of Asia
knot - any of various fastenings formed by looping and tying a rope (or cord) upon itself or to another rope or to another object
gordický uzel
Gordischer Knoten
węzeł gordyjski
References in classic literature ?
It was she who invented the short cut, who severed the Gordian knot.
So far, on the contrary, that is the very Gordian knot.
This view cuts the Gordian knot of the dispersal of the same species to the most distant points, and removes many a difficulty: but to the best of any judgment we are not authorized in admitting such enormous geographical changes within the period of existing species.
To her mind this complicated tangle of the affairs of life was a Gordian knot impossible to untie and which genius ought to cut.
Who is reputed to have severed the Gordian Knot with his sword?
It's a fascinating Gordian knot and one that adds extra depth and humanity to the archetypal narrative of illness.
The solution to this Gordian Knot is simple, and a state respecting its citizens would not have waited for the imposition of a solution by the Troika.
Firms run the risk of discovering that their IT infrastructure becomes a Gordian knot that becomes too difficult to untangle.
One of the great attractions of reading or hearing Bob is seeing him cut through the Gordian knot of tangled theories or research findings.
Analyzing the two-decade long name dispute, Erol Rizaov comments for Utrinski vesnik that the most responsible leaders of the moment--Samaras and Gruevski are well-aware that this is an impossible mission and that nobody can cut this Gordian knot.
History cannot be rewritten; the Holocaust remains both the Gordian knot that links us and an integral part of our identities.
In Kosovo, these four impediments to equal justice - corruption, organized crime, family ties and the "war hero" phenomenon - are woven through the culture, forming a Gordian knot which continues to restrict the development of the rule of law and its equal application to all members and levels of society.