Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective knotty differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of knotty are complex, complicated, intricate, and involved. While all these words mean "having confusingly interrelated parts," knotty suggests complication and entanglement that make solution or understanding improbable.

knotty ethical questions

When can complex be used instead of knotty?

The meanings of complex and knotty largely overlap; however, complex suggests the unavoidable result of a necessary combining and does not imply a fault or failure.

a complex recipe

When would complicated be a good substitute for knotty?

While the synonyms complicated and knotty are close in meaning, complicated applies to what offers great difficulty in understanding, solving, or explaining.

complicated legal procedures

When could intricate be used to replace knotty?

The words intricate and knotty are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, intricate suggests such interlacing of parts as to make it nearly impossible to follow or grasp them separately.

an intricate web of deceit

When is involved a more appropriate choice than knotty?

The words involved and knotty can be used in similar contexts, but involved implies extreme complication and often disorder.

a rambling, involved explanation

Thesaurus Entries Near knotty

Cite this Entry

“Knotty.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

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