Pronunciation Noun

knot (plural knots)

  1. A looping of a piece of string or of any other long, flexible material that cannot be untangled without passing one or both ends of the material through its loops.
    Climbers must make sure that all knots are both secure and of types that will not weaken the rope.
  2. (of hair, etc) A tangled clump.
    The nurse was brushing knots from the protesting child's hair.
  3. A maze-like pattern.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 4”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      Flowers worthy of paradise, which, not nice art / In beds and curious knots, but nature boon / Poured forth profuse on hill, and dale, and plain.
  4. (mathematics) A non-self-intersecting closed curve in (e.g., three-dimensional) space that is an abstraction of a knot (in sense 1 above).
    A knot can be defined as a non-self-intersecting broken line whose endpoints coincide: when such a knot is constrained to lie in a plane, then it is simply a polygon.
        ''A knot in its original sense can be modeled as a mathematical knot (or link) as follows: if the knot is made with a single piece of rope, then abstract the shape of that rope and then extend the working end to merge it with the standing end, yielding a mathematical knot. If the knot is attached to a metal ring, then that metal ring can be modeled as a trivial knot and the pair of knots become a link. If more than one mathematical knot (or link) can be thus obtained, then the simplest one (avoiding detours) is probably the one which one would want.
  5. A difficult situation.
    I got into a knot when I inadvertently insulted a policeman.
    • A man shall be perplexed with knots, and problems of business, and contrary affairs.
  6. The whorl left in lumber by the base of a branch growing out of the tree's trunk.
    When preparing to tell stories at a campfire, I like to set aside a pile of pine logs with lots of knots, since they burn brighter and make dramatic pops and cracks.
  7. Local swelling in a tissue area, especially skin, often due to injury.
    Jeremy had a knot on his head where he had bumped it on the bedframe.
  8. A protuberant joint in a plant.
  9. Any knob, lump, swelling, or protuberance.
    • ?, Alfred Tennyson, Lancelot and Elaine
      With lips severely placid, felt the knot / Climb in her throat.
  10. the swelling of the bulbus glandis in members of the dog family, Canidae
  11. The point on which the action of a story depends; the gist of a matter.
    the knot of the tale
  12. (engineering) A node.
  13. A kind of epaulet; a shoulder knot.
  14. A group of people or things.
    • c. 1593, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Richard the Third: […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene i]:
      his ancient knot of dangerous adversarie
    • 1822, [Walter Scott], Peveril of the Peak. [...] In Four Volumes, volume (please specify ), Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co., OCLC 2392685 ↗:
    • 1968, Bryce Walton, Harpoon Gunner, Thomas Y. Crowell Company, NY, (1968), page 20,
      He pushed through knots of whalemen grouped with their families and friends, and surrounded by piles of luggage.
  15. A bond of union; a connection; a tie.
    • c. 1591–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Third Part of Henry the Sixt, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene iii]:
      with nuptial knot
    • ere we knit the knot that can never be loosed
  16. (nautical) A unit of speed, equal to one nautical mile per hour. (From the practice of counting the number of knots in the log-line (as it is paid out) in a standard time. Traditionally spaced at one every frac 1 of a mile.)
    Cedric claimed his old yacht could make 12 knots.
  17. (nautical) A nautical mile
  18. (slang) The bulbus glandis
  19. (fandom) In omegaverse fiction, a bulbus glandis-like structure on the penis of a male alpha, which ties him to an omega during intercourse.
    • 2014, Mark Shrayber, "'Knotting' Is the Weird Fanfic Sex Trend That Cannot Be Unseen ↗", Jezebel, 18 July 2014:
      Since the knot won't release until the alpha has finished and can't be controlled by either party, the sex has to go on until it's done.
    • 2017, Taylor Boulware, "Fascination/Frustration: Slash Fandom, Genre, and Queer Uptake", dissertation submitted to the University of Washington, page 155 ↗:
      The pair cannot separate until the knot has subsided – anywhere from twenty minutes to hours, depending on the fic.
    • 2017, Marianne Gunderson, "What is an omega? Rewriting sex and gender in omegaverse fanfiction", thesis submitted to the University of Oslo, page 89 ↗:
      When John bites down on Sherlock's neck as his knot locks them together, the act which would otherwise be a tool for domination only reinforces the existing emotional bonds they have for each other.
Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • German: Knoten
  • Portuguese:
  • Russian: у́зел
  • Italian: nodo
  • Portuguese:
  • Russian: у́зел
Translations Translations Translations Verb

knot (knots, present participle knotting; past and past participle knotted)

  1. (transitive) To form into a knot; to tie with a knot or knots.
    We knotted the ends of the rope to keep it from unravelling.
    • ?, Alfred Tennyson, St. Simeon Stylites
      as tight as I could knot the noose
  2. (transitive) To form wrinkles in the forehead, as a sign of concentration, concern, surprise, etc.
    She knotted her brow in concentration while attempting to unravel the tangled strands.
  3. To unite closely; to knit together.
  4. (transitive, obsolete, rare) To entangle or perplex; to puzzle.
  5. (intransitive) To form knots.
  6. (intransitive) To knit knots for a fringe.
Synonyms Antonyms Translations
  • French: nouer
  • German: knoten
  • Italian: annodare
  • Portuguese: dar um nó, fazer um nó
  • Russian: завязывать/завязать узел
  • Spanish: anudar
Translations Noun

knot (plural knots)

  1. One of a variety of shore birds; the red-breasted sandpiper (variously Calidris canutus or Tringa canutus).
    • c.1610, Ben Jonson, The Alchemist
      My foot-boy shall eat pheasants, calvered salmons, / Knots, godwits, lampreys: I myself will have / The beards of barbels, served instead of salads […]
  • German: Knutt
  • Italian: piovanello maggiore (red knot)
  • Portuguese: seixoeira
  • Spanish: correlimos, playero

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