Synonyms & Antonyms of knotty

1 having many parts or aspects that are usually interrelated
  • the knotty problems that arise when every nation is part of the global marketplace

Synonyms for knotty

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Antonyms for knotty

2 requiring exceptional skill or caution in performance or handling
  • the candidates cautiously gave their views on an array of knotty issues

Synonyms for knotty

Words Related to knotty

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Frequently Asked Questions About knotty

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

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Time Traveler for knotty

Time Traveler

The first known use of knotty was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Knotty.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on knotty

Nglish: Translation of knotty for Spanish Speakers


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