Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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)
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
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.Idioms:
cut the Gordian knot, to solve a problem boldly and decisively.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.