Meaning of KNOT in English


I. ˈnät, usu -äd.+V noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English knotte, knot, from Old English cnotta; akin to Old High German knoto & knodo knot, Old Norse knūtr knot, knūta top of a bone, knuckle, Lithuanian gniùsti to press, gniùtulas bale, paper, lump; basic meaning: to press together; something clumped together



(1) : an intertwining, looping, bending, hitching, folding, gathering together, or tangling of one or more parts of a pliant relatively slender length of something in such a way as to produce a tying together, fastening, binding, or connecting of the length on, to, or with itself, another length, or some other thing

a cord with knots in it

one rope was attached to another by a loose knot

(2) : the interlacement or other disposition or arrangement or formation produced in a length by such manipulation

wondered how to undo the knot

(3) : a specific localized point or mass produced in a length by such manipulation ; especially : a lump or knob or some other relatively tight mass produced in a length by such manipulation

made heavy knots in the rope every five feet

(4) : a bow or rosette or cockade or epaulet or some other ornamental arrangement of a material (as ribbon) produced by such manipulation

wore a faded red worsted knot , the emblem of his rank, on his left shoulder — F.V.W.Mason

(5) : a length of hair rolled or coiled or twisted into a usually tight mass on the head : bun

with iron-gray hair in a knot on top of her head — Marcia Davenport

b. : something perplexingly intricate or involved or difficult : a problem or complication that cannot be easily solved

a matter full of legal knots

c. : something that ties or binds together : a bond of union

the two nations renewed the knot between them — R.W.Van Alstyne

especially : the bond of marriage

hoped to loose the knot by divorce

d. : the central point or heart of something : the hard center : nub , core , essence

confront the knot of meaning — Western Review

the very knot and center of my being — R.L.Stevenson

especially : the heart of something complicated or problematical

the very knot of the difficulty — W.E.Gladstone



(1) : a usually firm or hard lump or swelling or protuberance in or on a part of an animal body or bone or process

a knot in a gland

a pendulous fold of flesh full of knots

a bone with two or three knots

a knot at the end of the animal's horn

especially : an often contorted lump or swelling or protuberance in a muscle

strained at the oars until the muscles of their arms stood out in knots

(2) : a puckering or furrowing or wrinkling of the lower central area of the forehead typically occurring in deep concentration or as an indication of displeasure

went over it slowly with the knot between his brows — Vincent McHugh

(3) : a tight constriction or the sensation of such a constriction

music that dissolved the knots in their minds — Van Wyck Brooks

his throat caught in a dry knot , his head felt leaden — Marcia Davenport

moving slowly, as in a dream, his stomach in a knot — Gregor Felsen

(4) : a constricted or contorted mass : a tight bundle

I was tired and tense, my nerves were in knots — Polly Adler

b. : a lump or swelling or protuberance in or on a part of a plant: as

(1) : the node of a grass

(2) : a protuberance or an excrescence on a stem or branch or root ; especially : a hard irregular lump formed at the point where a branch grows out of the trunk of a tree

the first American settlers employed … pine knots, which were dipped in pitch and burned with a bright but smoky flame — A.L.Powell

(3) chiefly dialect Britain : bud , bloom — used especially in the phrase in the knot

now the hawthorn is coming in the knot

c. : a relatively small concreted mass that may occur in rocks or in precious stones or in glass or in similar objects or substances and that is typically harder than the surrounding material or that otherwise differs (as in the direction of its grain) from the surrounding material

d. : a cross section of the hard lump on a tree trunk from which a branch grows out and which appears in a board as a rounded usually cross-grained area that may fall out and leave an irregular hole

e. : a fungous disease of trees marked by the development of abnormal excrescences


a. : an ornamental usually carved or hammered knob, boss, or stud

b. : an ornamental often functional mass (as a corbel or similar member or as the capital of a column) used in architecture and consisting typically of carved or sculptured foliage

4. now dialect Britain : a hill or similar eminence of moderate height ; especially : a rocky hill of moderate height


a. : a small group of persons closely clustered together

knots of people talking and arguing on street corners — S.V.Benét

a chatty little knot at the back of PTA meetings — Bice Clemow

b. : clump

a knot of palm trees

: bunch

a knot of drooping dandelions

6. now chiefly dialect : knot garden

7. : a measured length of yarn, thread, or cord



(1) : one of the lengths marked off on a log line each of which is 47 feet 3 inches in extent and has the same relation to one nautical mile as 28 seconds has to one hour so that the number of such divisions running out from the log reel within a 28-second interval will indicate that the identical number of nautical miles will be covered within one hour by the ship if it maintains the same speed

(2) : the point marking the dividing line between each such length

b. : one nautical mile per hour — used as a unit of measurement in expressing the rate of speed of seagoing ships and of airplanes and in expressing the relative strength of water currents and the degree of intensity of air currents

a ship that logs 10 knots

a plane traveling 450 knots

a 30- knot wind

— abbr. kn., kt., k.

c. : one nautical mile

the ship reached a speed of 12 knots an hour

— not used technically

9. : an elevated land region formed by the juncture of several mountain regions

10. : a space curve that is closed

[s]knot.jpg[/s] [

knot 1a(3): 1 Blackwall hitch, 2 carrick bend, 3 clove hitch, 4 cat's-paw, 5 figure eight, 6 granny knot, 7 bowline, 8 overhand knot, 9 fisherman's bend, 10 half hitch, 11 square knot, 12 slip knot, 13 stevedore knot, 14 true lover's knot, 15 surgeon's knot, 16 Turk's head, 17 sheet bend, 18 timber hitch, 19 seizing, 20 rolling hitch, 21 sheepshank


II. verb

( knotted ; knotted ; knotting ; knots )

Etymology: Middle English knott

transitive verb



(1) : to tie, fasten, bind, or connect with a knot : do up or secure with a knot

knotted his clothes into a tight bundle

(2) : to tie into a knot : form into a knot

knotted the shoelace and couldn't untie it


(1) : to make a knot in or cause to be full of knots

broad soft neckties, which he knotted in large loose bows — Laura Krey

knotted the rope every five feet

(2) : to make (lace, net, or other fancywork) by twisting and looping thread into knots to form designs



(1) : to unite closely or bind firmly together : cause to be closely joined or associated

the ties of blood that were knotted into all the relationships of communal life — Oscar Handlin

(2) : to group closely together

their horses were knotted about an instructor — Hugh MacLennan

(3) : to pull together

official and private problems knot the plot into an intriguing pattern — Fanny Butcher

b. : to cause to be joined in a confused or tangled way : entangle

ligatures, i.e. combinations in which two or more letters are knotted together and lose their original shape — E.H.Minns

creepers of many kinds … knotting the undergrowth into impenetrable thickets — C.D.Forde

3. : to cause (the forehead or brows) to become knitted

saw him knot and unknot his eyebrows — Donn Byrne

4. : to make (the score of an athletic contest or other competition) even : tie up : equalize

slammed in a 30-footer to knot it again at 3 all — John Drebinger

5. : to cover the knots of (wood) with a conditioning preparation (as shellac) before painting

intransitive verb


a. : to form knots : become knotted

wet cords tend to knot

took a long drink, the raw alcohol knotting and burning in his chest — Irwin Shaw

the men bent forward, grunting deep in their lungs, their belly muscles knotting with the pull of the oars — Frank Yerby

— often used with up

the tendons of his legs began to knot up — Andrew Hamilton

b. : to form a constricted or contorted mass : form lumps

planets … were formed by a process of shriveling and knotting — Waldemar Kaempffert

2. : to become gathered together into a small group : cluster together

commandomen, who roamed here and there, knotting into groups for the exchange of experiences — John Brophy

3. : to make lace, net, or other fancywork by twisting and looping thread into knots to form designs

III. noun

( -s )

: any of several sandpipers (genus Calidris ) that breed in the Arctic and winter in temperate or warm parts of the New and Old World: as

a. : a stocky gregarious Old World bird ( C. canutus ) whose plumage in the breeding season is chestnut and black above and that has a russet head and russet underparts

b. : a similar American bird that forms a subspecies ( C. canutus rufus ) and that is predominantly gray and spotted with black and ruddy brown above and that has a pale brown head and pale brown underparts

c. : a bird ( C. tenuirostris ) that is grayish brown to dark brown above with white underparts and white bars on the wings and tail and that breeds in northeastern Asia and winters southward to Australia — called also great knot, Japanese knot

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.