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adj. knot·ti·er, knot·ti·est
1. Tied or snarled in knots.
2. Covered with knots or knobs; gnarled.
3. Difficult to understand or solve: "[The columnist] supplies funny, wise responses to knotty ethical dilemmas posed by readers" (David Pogue).

knot′ti·ness n.
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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.knottiness - puzzling complexity
complexity, complexness - the quality of being intricate and compounded; "he enjoyed the complexity of modern computers"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Now we have the added dimension of this perfectly planed and polished backdrop, throwing the knottiness of the narrative into sharp relief.
This knottiness makes itself felt even at the level of the sentence.
The uniqueness of the role of first ladies is its soft touch and freedom from the knottiness and even ugliness of hard politics." Both women's fashion choices were a hot topic on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter, with some Chinese Internet users favourably comparing Peng's formal attire -- a navy blue jacket and skirt -- to Obama's more casual black trousers, vest and white silk shirt.
Jacobs's central point in any case is that the degree of knottiness on the relationships between carriers of the two syndromes can produce what she described as "monstrous moral hybrids." In the Germanic ordnungstheorie, or theory of order, set forth by Walter Eucken (1952), surveyed in English by Viktor Vanberg (1988), and with a collection of essays presented in Helmut Leipold and Ingo Pies (2000), a distinction was advanced between legislation that was compatible with the fundamental operating principles of a market order and legislation that clashed with those principles.
Left totally up in the air, that is, until Eliot borrows this passage wholesale, as it were, to make up that pivotal Part IV, "Death by Water," of The Waste Land, where he tells us there that we should "[c]onsider Phlebas." There must be, that is to say, something more to that injunction than just the traditional "As I am now, so shall you be" sentiments expressed on tombstone, but what that something more may be appears to be more elusive than any other aspect of this notoriously knotty poem's notorious knottiness.
The X-ray scanner produces stable knottiness and density signals, with highly repeatable results (Gjudiceandrea 2005).
Saint Augustine, who knew all too well his own negative impulses, defining them as "twisted and tangled knottiness" (Confessions, II, 10.18), writes: "I will certainly impose privation, but it is so that he will forgive me, to be pleasing in His eyes, that I may enjoy his delightfulness" (Sermo 400, 3, 3: PL 40, 708).
Carrigan, Jr., surveys recent books on the knottiness of religion and violence; ForeWord Associate Editor Whitney Hallberg casts her eye over books covering the arts and crafts of needles and threads; and Kristine Morris takes the reader on a mindful tour of the latest body, mind, and spirit titles.
A musicological approach can, however, help throw light on the basic issues of those debates and proclamations, which seem so impenetrable in terms both of their extent and the knottiness of the arguments, particularly in view of the fact that the arguments to do with music history and compositional techniques were sometimes a front for cultural and political interests.
For example, knottiness may be crucial to the workings of certain proteins (MathTrek;
Here he could indulge both styles, finding the Monkish knottiness in a prelude, or adapting some of Dmitri's film music to the shape of a jazz standard.