Free TranslationFree Translation
Synonyms, antonyms, pronunciation

  Home
English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'




Knotty   Listen
adjective
Knotty  adj.  (compar. knottier; superl. knottiest)  
1.
Full of knots; knotted; having many knots; as, knotty timber; a knotty rope.
2.
Hard; rugged; as, a knotty head. (R.)
3.
Difficult; intricate; perplexed. "A knotty point to which we now proceed"






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








Advanced search
     Find words:
Starting with
Ending with
Containing
Matching a pattern  

Synonyms
Antonyms
Quotes
Words linked to  

only single words



Share |





"Knotty" Quotes from Famous Books



... trifle blue, as one does at parting from a friend. But it was not the moodiness of uncertainty. He knew what he was going to do. He had simply got used to Tommy being at his elbow, to chatting with him, to knowing that some one was near with whom he could try to unravel a knotty problem or hold his peace as he chose. He missed Tommy. But he knew that although they had been partners over a hard country, had bucked a hard trail like men and grown nearer to each other in the stress of it, they could not be Siamese twins. His road and Tommy's road was bound to fork. A ...
— Burned Bridges • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... admiration. Often have I halted on my journey to ride around and admire the prodigious height and girth of these trees. Their beautiful proportions render them the more striking; there are no gnarled and knotty stems, such as we are accustomed to admire in the ancient oaks and beeches of England, but every trunk rises like a mast from the earth, perfectly free from branches for ninety or a hundred feet, straight as an arrow, each tree forming a dark pillar to support its share of the rich canopy ...
— Eight Years' Wandering in Ceylon • Samuel White Baker

... what he then regarded as possible native areas, and drew rings on a large wall-map of the Union to indicate their locality. Included in these rings were several Magistracies which he said would solve a knotty problem. He told us that white people objected to black men in Government offices and magistrates in those areas would have ...
— Native Life in South Africa, Before and Since • Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje

... of Arthur's jib, or the necessity of "ballasting" or pouring a little molten lead into Edward's keel. The launch of a new vessel is the event of the week. The coast-guardsman is brought in to settle knotty questions of naval architecture and equipment, and the little seamen listen to his verdicts, his yarns, the records of his voyages, with a wondering reverence. They ask knowingly about the wind and the prospects of the weather; they ...
— Stray Studies from England and Italy • John Richard Green

... way, than some young scamp would rise and solemnly move the previous question, which never failed to bring down a storm of hoots at the complete mystification of the perplexed chairman, who never to his last day was able to solve this knotty point of procedure. ...
— The Varmint • Owen Johnson

... ancient and honorable fraternity of the Free and Accepted Masons, at the head of whom was Richard, in the capacity of master, doubtless to approve or reject such of the plans as, in their wisdom, they deemed to he for the best. The knotty point was, however, soon decided; and, on the appointed day, the brotherhood marched in great state, displaying sundry banners and mysterious symbols, each man with a little mimic apron before him, from a most cunningly contrived apartment ...
— The Pioneers • James Fenimore Cooper

... the value of concentration—for instance: When a Child has a difficult problem to solve, and gets to some knotty point which he finds himself mentally unable to do—though he tries his hardest—he will pause and keep quite still, leaning on his elbow, apparently listening; then you will see, if you are watching, sudden illumination come and he ...
— The Power of Concentration • Theron Q. Dumont

... chase. Their tense manner could hardly have been assumed: they were in desperate and deadly earnest; so he thanked the stars which had brought him into active connection with an important crime, and gave his mind strictly to the business in hand. Several knotty points demanded careful if speedy decision. The chased automobile might prove to be an innocent vehicle, driven by a chauffeur above suspicion, and if its owner appeared in the guise of some highly influential person he, the roundsman, might be called to sharp account for ...
— One Wonderful Night - A Romance of New York • Louis Tracy

... people have quarreled their friends generally invite them to dinner, where the matters in dispute are amicably arranged. These are called "peace dinners". I would recommend that a similar expedient should be adopted in America; many a knotty point could be disposed of by a friendly discussion at the dinner table. If international disputes were always arranged in this way the representatives of nations having complaints against each other might more often ...
— America Through the Spectacles of an Oriental Diplomat • Wu Tingfang

... themselves in a sombre and lonely dell of the mountains, about an hour before the going down of the sun. The slanting yellow beams turned to silvery brightness the ashy foliage of the gnarled old olives, which gaunt and weird clung with their great, knotty, straggling roots to the rocky mountain-sides. Before them, the path, stony, steep, and winding, was rising upward and still upward, and no shelter for the night appeared, except in a distant mountaintown, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IX., March, 1862., No. LIII. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics, • Various

... nature for the other fellows to depend on their leader whenever a knotty problem arose that needed solving. And seldom did Rod disappoint their expectations. He came up smiling ...
— The Big Five Motorcycle Boys on the Battle Line - Or, With the Allies in France • Ralph Marlow

... is likewise a factor. The seeds of knotty, scraggly trees are very apt to produce trees of their own kind ...
— Commercial Geography - A Book for High Schools, Commercial Courses, and Business Colleges • Jacques W. Redway

... say the alchymists, he never could have done, had he not been in possession of the philosopher's stone; by no other means could he have made the powder of gold float upon the water. But we must leave this knotty point for the consideration of the adepts in the art, if any such there be, and come to more modern periods of its history. The Jesuit, Father Martini, in his "Historia Sinica," says, it was practised by the Chinese two ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Vol. I • Charles Mackay

... the breasts {of us both}. The Sun striking the tops of the mountains with his early rays, I was wont generally to go with youthful ardor into the woods, to hunt; but I neither suffered my servants, nor my horses, nor my quick-scented hounds to go {with me}, nor the knotty nets to attend me; I was safe with my javelin. But when my right hand was satiated with the slaughter of wild beasts, I betook myself to the cool spots and the shade, and the breeze which was breathing forth from the cool valleys. The gentle breeze was ...
— The Metamorphoses of Ovid - Vol. I, Books I-VII • Publius Ovidius Naso

... articles.—Symptoms when it is taken into the body slowly. Headache, pain about the navel, loss of appetite and flesh, offensive breath, a blueness of the edges of the gums; the belly is tight, hard, and knotty, and the pulse slow and languid. There is also sometimes a difficulty in swallowing.—Treatment. Give five grains of calomel and half a grain of opium directly, in the form of a pill, and half an ounce of Epsom salts in two hours, and repeat this treatment until the bowels are well opened. ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... that he had more honour than to break his word. A whelp of a boy had yesterday caught a young hedgehog, and perceiving me, threw it into the water to make it extend its legs; then with the rough side of a knotty stick sawed upon them till the creature cried like a child; and when I ordered him to desist, told me he would not, till I had given him sixpence. There is something worse than all this. The avaricious rascals, when they can find nothing that they think will excite my pity, disable the first ...
— Heads and Tales • Various

... developments that had taken place since they had left Hill's Crossing. Yet the full gray beard with the broad shaved upper lip still gave the Chicago merchant the air of a New England worthy. And Alexander, in contrast with his brother-in-law, had knotty hands and a tanned complexion that years of "inside business" had not sufficed to smooth. The little habit of kneading the palm which you felt when he shook hands, and the broad, humorous smile, had not changed as the years passed him on from success to success. Mrs. Hitchcock still slurred ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... stories stood higher buildings, with fronts of brown stone, cracked and blistered, cast-iron balconies and cat-haunted grass-patches behind twisted railings. These houses too had once been private, but now a cheap lunchroom filled the basement of one, while the other announced itself, above the knotty wistaria that clasped its central balcony, as the Mendoza Family Hotel. It was obvious from the chronic cluster of refuse-barrels at its area-gate and the blurred surface of its curtainless windows, that the families frequenting the ...
— Bunner Sisters • Edith Wharton

... bitterly, and combed one auburn whisker with knotty fingers. "Haven't been able to get a man that was any good since. It's nothing but worry, worry, worry in business. And where might you have come across him, captain, ...
— Lord Jim • Joseph Conrad

... The extremely picturesque costume of the centenarian pauper was hanging from a nail, and below it, on the floor, were the shapeless mat-weed coverings that served him for shoes, the whole forming, with his amorphous old hat and knotty stick, a ...
— The Lesser Bourgeoisie • Honore de Balzac

... military force that appeared to justify the hope of victory should she undertake a war with her old rival. In order to bring about the expulsion of Austria from the confederation, Bismarck took advantage of a knotty problem that had been troubling Germany, and which was known as the Schleswig-Holstein affair. The provinces of Schleswig and Holstein, although inhabited largely by Germans, had for centuries belonged to the king of Denmark. They were allowed, however, to retain their provincial assemblies, ...
— An Introduction to the History of Western Europe • James Harvey Robinson

... left his nephew sadly perplexed as to the knotty question from which their talk on the future had diverged—viz., should he write to the Parson; and assure the fears of his mother? How do so without Richard's consent, when Richard had on a former occasion so imperiously declared that, if he did, ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 3, July, 1851 • Various

... side, "Mother," said he, "you know it is my nature to be slow in deciding any matter of importance, and this is the weightiest one that ever I had to consider. Men much older and wiser than I are finding it a knotty question to which their loyalty is due, State or General Government; where allegiance to the one ends, and fealty ...
— Elsie's Womanhood • Martha Finley

... fresh water. These gallies I suppose were not so large as common fishing-smacks, for they were moved by two, three, and four oars of a side according to their different rates, biremes, triremes, and quadriremes. I know this is a knotty point not yet determined; and that some antiquarians believe the Roman gallies had different tires or decks of oars; but this is a notion very ill supported, and quite contrary to all the figures of them that are preserved on antient coins and medals. ...
— Travels Through France and Italy • Tobias Smollett

... baggage car, where he gave me a pair of pliers, a pocket instrument and about eight feet of office wire. I asked for a pair of climbers and some more office wire, but neither was to be had. Here, therefore, was a pretty knotty problem. The telegraph poles were thirty feet high; how was I to make a connection with only eight feet of wire and no climbers? I thought for a while, and then I put the instrument in my pocket, and undertook to "shin up" the pole as I used to do when I was a schoolboy. After many ...
— Danger Signals • John A. Hill and Jasper Ewing Brady

... incompatibilities rooted in the Austrian character: there are two souls, one desperately clinging to the Austria of the good old times, to the long-lost lovely Vienna of the coach and post-horn, the other the soul of turbulent young Austria, with its eye on the knotty problems of the future. But the enervating atmosphere of literary Vienna, which Grillparzer once characterized as a "Capua in the world of spirits," is the natural element of Old Austria, and we suspect that Bartsch, whose rapid ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Masterpieces of German Literature Vol. 19 • Various

... Date of costume about 1848. He was smoking a cigar, and trying to think of a word, and in pawing his hair he had rumpled his locks a good deal. He was scowling fearfully, and I judged that he was concocting a particularly knotty editorial. He told me to take the exchanges and skim through them and write up the "Spirit of the Tennessee Press," condensing into the article all of their contents that ...
— Editorial Wild Oats • Mark Twain

... was familiarly known in the neighborhood, Whisky Jo.—was a very important personage in those parts. He was apparently about forty years of age, a long, shock-headed fellow, with a corded face, a gnarled arm and a knotty hand like a bunch of prison-keys. He was a hairy man, with a stoop in his walk, like that of one who is about to spring ...
— Can Such Things Be? • Ambrose Bierce

... as usual in the morning, and my Turkish towel was spread outside the tent to dry. The Tarjum, who showed great interest in all our things, took a particular fancy to its knotty fabric. He sent for his child to see this wonderful material, and when he arrived the towel was placed on the youth's back as if it were a shawl. I at once offered it to him as a present if he would accept it. ...
— In the Forbidden Land • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... remain there until dark. He would not then be more than fifteen miles from Washington, and he could make the remaining distance under the cover of darkness. He followed a narrow road between two fields, in one of which he saw a farmer ploughing, an old man, gnarled and knotty, whose mind seemed bent wholly upon his work. He was ploughing young corn, and although he could not keep from seeing Harry, he took no apparent ...
— The Guns of Bull Run - A Story of the Civil War's Eve • Joseph A. Altsheler

... very happy conclusion of a very knotty affair, said the widow Bevis; and I see not why we may not make this very night a ...
— Clarissa, Volume 5 (of 9) • Samuel Richardson

... of all my uncle's advisers, did not concur in this determination respecting me. He set forth, with an eloquence that certainly converted me, that my head was better calculated for bearing hard knocks than unravelling knotty points, that a shako would become it infinitely better than a wig; and declared, roundly, that a boy who began so well and had such very pretty notions about shooting was positively thrown away in the Four Courts. My uncle, however, ...
— Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 1 (of 2) • Charles Lever

... suitable materials on which to work. This is a well-known principle. If he does not, then he is responsible for the consequences. In one of the cases a person was injured while erecting a scaffolding from the breaking of a knotty timber. The testimony was that the knot was visible on the surface and if the stick had been examined the defect would have been seen. That seemed a slight defect, surely, but the consequence of using the timber was very serious, ...
— Up To Date Business - Home Study Circle Library Series (Volume II.) • Various

... leader, some one they look up to as superior to the rest, and capable of deciding knotty questions, and "going ahead" in all times of doubt and difficulty. Blair Robertson occupied this position among the youngsters of Fairport. He had lawfully won this place among his fellows and "achieved greatness," by being the best scholar at the academy, as well as the boldest ...
— The Boy Patriot • Edward Sylvester Ellis

... Wakefield sent him back for ablutions before he would communicate with him. And in the interval he fortunately discovered his error, and instead of taking up the imposition with his clean hands, he delighted the master with a knotty inquiry as to one of the active tenses of ...
— The Cock-House at Fellsgarth • Talbot Baines Reed

... the Grande Marquise will find a relish for them," he said pointedly at me. He, the natural son of King Louis, had played the part between La Pompadour and myself in the grave matter of which I spoke. "She loves deciding knotty points of ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... wilder as we proceeded. For a considerable distance there was a causeway, built long ago of logs, to drag lumber upon; it was now decayed and rotten, a red decay, sometimes sunken down in the midst, here and there a knotty trunk stretching across, apparently sound. The sun being now low towards the west, a pleasant gloom and brightness were diffused through the forest, spots of brightness scattered upon the branches, or thrown down in gold upon the last year's leaves among the trees. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 100, February, 1866 • Various

... covered with sores, drawn tight over their distorted bones; their eyeballs protruding hideously, evidently in consequence of the falling away of the flesh on their faces; their chests sunk, and their joints swelled and knotty, ...
— The Three Commanders • W.H.G. Kingston

... regulations of the Academy all the lights were supposed to be extinguished, and everybody in bed—Slocum and I would hang a blanket over the one window of our room and continue our studies—he guiding me around scores of stumbling-blocks in Algebra and elucidating many knotty points in other branches of the course with which I was unfamiliar. On account of this association I went up before the Board in January with less uneasiness than otherwise would have been the case, and passed the examination fairly well. When it ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... pints. Pray show how it is possible for me to put a true pint into each of the measures." Of course, no other vessel or article is to be used, and no marking of the measures is allowed. It is a knotty little problem and a fascinating one. A good many persons to-day will find it by no means an easy task. Yet ...
— The Canterbury Puzzles - And Other Curious Problems • Henry Ernest Dudeney

... than mischief,—and so keeping them within safe lines. She was elected an honorary member, and became the counsellor of the gang in all its little scrapes. I can yet see her dear brow wrinkled in the study of some knotty gang problem, which we discussed when the boys had been long asleep. They did not dream of it, and the village never knew what small tragedies it escaped, nor who it was that so skilfully ...
— The Battle with the Slum • Jacob A. Riis

... stump of a man, lean and knotty, all of whose joints formed protuberances, proceeded at an easy pace down the ravine, searching at every opening through which a passage could be effected with the cautiousness of a fox. Then, ...
— A Comedy of Marriage & Other Tales • Guy De Maupassant

... occasion, an old friend of his, who had once belonged to the bar, Mr. K——, a member of a most respectable family, called on O'Connell during the Assizes, to pay him a friendly visit. He found O'Connell engaged with a shrewd-looking farmer, who was consulting him on a knotty case. Heartily glad to see his old friend, O'Connell sprang forward, saying, "My dear K——, I'm delighted to see you." The farmer, seeing the visitor come in, cunningly took the opportunity of ...
— Irish Wit and Humor - Anecdote Biography of Swift, Curran, O'Leary and O'Connell • Anonymous

... years' monopoly of the conversation had developed an inordinate propensity for talking. These may have been the sentiments of Ariel, safe at the Bermoothes; but to state them is to risk at least ten years in the knotty entrails of an oak, and it is sufficient to point out, that if Prospero is wise, he is also self-opinionated and sour, that his gravity is often another name for pedantic severity, and that there is no character in the play to whom, during some part of it, he is not studiously ...
— Books and Characters - French and English • Lytton Strachey

... lastly, to Smallbones, who received them with all humility. The lieutenant was about to step into the boat when a doubt arose, and he stopped in his advance, perplexed. It was one of no small importance— was Snarleyyow to accompany him or not? That was the knotty question, and it really was a case which required some deliberation. If he left him on board after the conspiracy which had been formed against him, the dog would probably be overboard before he returned; that is, if Smallbones ...
— Snarley-yow - or The Dog Fiend • Frederick Marryat

... an actress. The men caught the mania; the upper classes had long before given up to their lackeys feathers, tufts of ribbon, and laced hats. They now got rid of red heels and embroidery; and walked about our streets in plain cloth, short thick shoes, and with knotty cudgels in their hands. Many humiliating scrapes were the consequence of this metamorphosis. Bearing no mark to distinguish them from the common herd, some of the lowest classes got into quarrels with them, in which the nobles ...
— Memoirs Of The Court Of Marie Antoinette, Queen Of France, Complete • Madame Campan

... murmur'st, I will rend an Oake And peg-thee in his knotty entrailes, till Thou hast ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... appoint a weaker man, even if he would consent to do so, for they would need the best they had to put up against the leader of the Boxers. With the Governor, they believed they could win, but the question of appointing him had suddenly become a knotty one. ...
— Lifted Masks - Stories • Susan Glaspell

... A knotty problem, however, is introduced by the last line of this 1660 description: "... lay your black ground very thin, and the white ground upon it. This is the only way of Rinebrant...."[20] No elaboration is given. This one line presents a number of problems, not all of which are soluble. To take ...
— Rembrandt's Etching Technique: An Example • Peter Morse

... shrewd man, and has engineered many a knotty case to a successful issue, thereby covering himself with glory. This was in the past, however; in the days when he had been regularly attached to a ...
— The Diamond Coterie • Lawrence L. Lynch

... the people's love: Or whether they, like us below, The motives of a Patriot know? And me inform, another said, What think they of a Buck that's dead? Have they discerned that, being dull, I knock'd my wit from watchmen's skull? And me, cried one, of knotty front, With many a scar of pride upon't Resolve me if the world opine Philosophers are still divine; That having hearts for friends too small, Or rather having none at all, Profess'd to love, with saving grace, The abstract of the human race? And I, exclaim'd a fourth, would ask What think they ...
— The Sylphs of the Season with Other Poems • Washington Allston

... years longer. But the merchants who were the inheritors of centuries of commercial intercourse with England's new enemies were soon to receive a shock that completely changed their minds. They were themselves one of the strongest factors that made for war in the knotty problem now to be solved at the cannon's mouth because English trade was seeking new outlets in every direction and was beating hard against every door that foreigners shut in its face. These merchants would not, however, support the war party till they were ...
— Elizabethan Sea Dogs • William Wood

... shamefaced way he fetched from a tool-box a long-forgotten, strong little currycomb, such as is used on shaggy Shetland ponies. With that he proceeded to give Bobby such a grooming as he had never had before. It was a painful operation, for his thatch was a stubborn mat of crisp waves and knotty tangles to his plumy tail and down to his feathered toes. He braced himself and took the punishment without a whimper, and when it was done he stood cascaded with dark-silver ...
— Greyfriars Bobby • Eleanor Atkinson

... thrill of excitement. A young man—not more than twenty-five—built like a bull for force and wrath. His was that colossal physique that develops in the South; his shoulders were mighty under his mean coat, and his chained wrists were square and knotty. He held his head up with a sort of truculence in its poise; it was the head, massive, sensuous- lipped, slow-eyed, of a whimsical Nero. It was weariness, perhaps, that give him his look of satiety, of appetites ...
— The Second Class Passenger • Perceval Gibbon

... bones of the head are not only disunited, but are more or less overlapped at birth, in consequence of the largeness of the Caucasian child's head and the smallness of its mother's pelvis, giving the head an elongated form, and an irregular, knotty feel to the touch. The negro infant, however, is born with a small, hard, smooth, round head like a gourd. Instead of the frontal and temporal bones being divided into six plates, as in the white child, they form but one bone in the ...
— Cotton is King and The Pro-Slavery Arguments • Various

... perplexed merchant could come at any conclusion on this knotty subject the door opened and Martin Rattler entered the room, followed by ...
— Martin Rattler • Robert Michael Ballantyne

... and then sends up a spirt of lava and a volley of pebbles. His theories of gastro-enteritis, of irritation and inflammation as the cause of disease, and the practice which sprang from them, ran over the fields of medicine for a time like flame over the grass of the prairies. The way in which that knotty-featured, savage old man would bring out the word irritation—with rattling and rolling reduplication of the resonant letter r—might have taught a lesson in articulation to Salvini. But Broussais's theory was languishing and ...
— Medical Essays • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... this place with the general reputation of the Sheffield Scientific at home and abroad. Singling out only one of its many merits, we can point to it with pride as the first institution to solve effectually the knotty problem of discipline. The means of its success are anything but occult. It has made its pupils feel from the moment of entrance that they were young men, and must act as such. It has refused to encumber itself with ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, April, 1876. • Various

... replied Messala, to have heard both my friends. It is, however, some compensation for the loss, that I find men of their talents, instead of giving all their time to the little subtleties and knotty points of the forum, extending their views to liberal science, and those questions of taste, which enlarge the mind, and furnish it with ideas drawn from the treasures of polite erudition. Enquiries of this kind afford improvement ...
— A Dialogue Concerning Oratory, Or The Causes Of Corrupt Eloquence • Cornelius Tacitus

... would be sheer waste of words to broach it, as De Noyan could form no clearer conception of such an issue than a babe unborn. He swung as the wind blew, and in all his pampered life had probably never dreamed of denying himself a liberty. Saint Andrew! it was a knotty problem for such a head as mine to solve. I believe I chose the better course in assuming the role of a neutral, as I sat staring at the fellow while he twisted his moustaches into their old-time curl, gazing at himself in the pocket mirror, utterly ...
— Prisoners of Chance - The Story of What Befell Geoffrey Benteen, Borderman, - through His Love for a Lady of France • Randall Parrish

... our nights of rest, or unrest, were passed in a variety of ways—in beautiful brass bedsteads with spring mattresses; in wooden boxes dragged out until they became a bed, the mattress being stuffed with the luikku or ruopo plant, which makes a hard and knotty couch. We slept in the bunks of ships, which for curiosity's sake we measured, and found seldom exceeded eighteen inches in width; we lay on the floor with only a rug dividing us from the wooden boards; or we reposed on a canvas deck-chair, which originally cost about five shillings ...
— Through Finland in Carts • Ethel Brilliana Alec-Tweedie

... body is now like a piece of knotty wood, with the scars of the wounds you gave me, and yet you could ...
— Eskimo Folktales • Unknown

... even while I bent over him it ceased; and so, like a worn-out hound, with no creature to comfort or relieve his last agony, with neither Christian solace or human succour near him, with neither wife, nor child, nor even friendly fellow being to lift his head from the knotty sticks on which he had rested it, or drive away the insects that buzzed round his lips and nostrils like those of a fallen beast, died this poor old slave, whose life had been exhausted in unrequited labour, the fruits ...
— Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation - 1838-1839 • Frances Anne Kemble

... lofty timber. His party had then formed to a narrower front, in order to pass between the trees, and the track was trod proportionately deeper in the snow. The eye followed it, under the leafless tracery of the oaks, running direct and narrow; the trees stood over it, with knotty joints and the great, uplifted forest of their boughs; there was no sound, whether of man or beast—not so much as the stirring of a robin; and over the field of snow the winter sun lay ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 8 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... world to think more about him than they do about themselves, he is got into a track where he will find nothing but briars and thorns, vexation and disappointment. I can speak a little to this point. For many years of my life I did nothing but think. I had nothing else to do but solve some knotty point, or dip in some abstruse author, or look at the sky, or wander ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... versifying such knowledge as he had. These various causes make Manilius one of the most difficult of authors. Few can wade through the mingled solecisms in language and mistakes in science, the empty verbiage that dilates on a platitude in one place, and the jejune abstract that hurries over a knotty argument in another, without regretting that so unreadable a poet should have ...
— A History of Roman Literature - From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius • Charles Thomas Cruttwell

... her wit) one expects to hear the merry note of a horn; the moralizing Duke would come striding thoughtfully through the thicket down by the tiny pool (or shall we call it a mere?). He would sit under those two knotty old oaks and begin to pluck the burrs from his jerkin. Then would come his cheerful tanned followers, carrying the dappled burgher they had ambushed; and, last, the pensive Jacques (so very like Mr. Joseph Pennell in bearing and ...
— Plum Pudding - Of Divers Ingredients, Discreetly Blended & Seasoned • Christopher Morley

... night. We unbent the mainsail, and formed an awning with it over the after part of the boat, made a bed of wet logs of wood, and, with our jackets on, lay down, about six o'clock, to sleep. Finding the rain running down upon us, and our jackets getting wet through, and the rough, knotty-logs, rather indifferent couches, we turned out; and taking an iron pan which we brought with us, we wiped it out dry, put some stones around it, cut the wet bark from some sticks, and striking a light, made a small fire in the pan. Keeping some sticks near, ...
— Two Years Before the Mast • Richard Henry Dana

... prejudice should be allowed to stand in way of doing the best thing. Talk just now of pending vacancies on the Bench; such talk recurrent; sometimes more talk than vacancy. "But I pass from that," as ARTHUR BALFOUR says, when gliding over knotty points of question put from Irish Benches. If not vacancy to-morrow, sure to be within week, or month, or year. Why not make JEMMY LOWTHER a Judge? It is true he has no practice at the Bar; but he was "called," and, I believe, went. That is a detail; what we desire in our Judges ...
— Punch, or, the London Charivari, Volume 98, March 8, 1890. • Various

... no one had courage to ask him, and as it never happened to fall from him incidentally, they remained in the dark about it. He was known and addressed however, by the appellation of 'the Lawyer,' as their conversation with him was chiefly asking his advice on points of law too knotty for them, which he freely gave. He affected no mystery or reserve; yet there was something in his bearing, affable and unaristocratic as it was, that caused those very men—who, if the governor of the state had come among them, would have slapped ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, June 1844 - Volume 23, Number 6 • Various

... went down and the evening chill came on, we made preparation for bed. We stirred up the hard leather letter-sacks, and the knotty canvas bags of printed matter (knotty and uneven because of projecting ends and corners of magazines, boxes and books). We stirred them up and redisposed them in such a way as to make our bed as level as possible. And we did improve ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... antagonist, intending that his next thrust should be still more vigorous. But the young stranger appeared much better disposed to partake of the good cheer, with which he had been so providentially provided, than to take up the cudgels of argument on this, or on any other of the knotty points which are so apt to furnish the lovers of science with the ...
— The Prairie • J. Fenimore Cooper

... apprehension, and vivacity of understanding, which easily took in and surmounted the most subtile and knotty parts of mathematicks and metaphysicks. His wit was prompt and flowing, yet solid and piercing; his taste delicate, his head clear, and his way of expressing his thoughts perspicuous and engaging. I shall say nothing ...
— Lives of the Poets, Vol. 1 • Samuel Johnson

... is perhaps the Indian animal. It is the one marked by the singular foldings of its skin, thickly embellished with protuberances or knobs, that give it a shield-like appearance. This distinguishes it from the African species, all of which are without these knobs, though the hides of some are knotty or warty. The Abyssinian rhinoceros has also foldings of the skin, which approach it somewhat to the character of the Indian species. Both the Sumatra and Java kinds are small compared with their huge cousin, the Indian rhinoceros, which inhabits only ...
— The Bush Boys - History and Adventures of a Cape Farmer and his Family • Captain Mayne Reid

... assistance; Patrick's jealousy flamed hot. And then, before Patrick's enraged eyes, Eva and Isaac tore the combination of writing implements to fragments, in their endeavour to make it yield a point. Patrick darted upon the surprised Isaac like an avenging whirlwind, and drove a knotty little fist into the centre of the Fauntleroy costume. And then, quite suddenly, Isaac lifted ...
— Little Citizens • Myra Kelly

... and patriarch of the garden—and leaning my brow against his knotty trunk, my foot rested on the stone sealing the small sepulchre at his root; and I recalled the passage of feeling therein buried; I recalled Dr. John; my warm affection for him; my faith in his excellence; my delight in ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... business of sending powder to Beauregard was a trick of some kind, yet the confident bearing of the leader impressed him at this crisis. Perhaps he had made a mistake in refusing to obey the orders; but ere he could decide the knotty problem Andrews took the keys, hurried from the station, and unlocked the switch. Then he jumped into the cab, as he shouted to the men near the engine: "Tell your switch-tender that he will hear from General Beauregard for this!" He gave a signal, and the engineer grasped ...
— Chasing an Iron Horse - Or, A Boy's Adventures in the Civil War • Edward Robins

... same with pitch; batten them down tight, and hang it with the snap-spring over the ship's stern. Were ever such things done before with a coffin? Some superstitious old carpenters, now, would be tied up in the rigging, ere they would do the job. But I'm made of knotty Aroostook hemlock; I don't budge. Cruppered with a coffin! Sailing about with a grave-yard tray! But never mind. We workers in woods make bridal-bedsteads and card-tables, as well as coffins and hearses. We work ...
— Moby-Dick • Melville

... good fire to be made, and setting the Friend within a blanket before the fire, we stripped him to the waist, as if he had been to be whipped again, and found his skin so cut and torn with the knotty holly rods, both back, side, arms, and breast, that it was a dismal sight to look upon. Then melting some of the balsam, I with a feather anointed all the sores, and putting a softer cloth between his skin and ...
— The History of Thomas Ellwood Written by Himself • Thomas Ellwood

... are enlarged veins which are more commonly present on the legs, but are also seen in other parts of the body. They stand out from the skin as bluish, knotty, and winding cords which flatten out when pressure is made upon them, and shrink in size in most cases upon lying down. Sometimes bluish, small, soft, rounded lumps, or a fine, branching network of veins may be seen. Oftentimes varicose veins may exist for years—if not extensive—without ...
— The Home Medical Library, Volume II (of VI) • Various

... recent delivery are as follows: The face is pale, with dark circles round the eyes; the pulse quickened; the skin soft, warm, and covered with a peculiar sweat; the breasts full, tense, and knotty; the abdomen distended, its integuments relaxed, with irregular light pink streaks on the lower part. The labia and vagina show signs of distension and injury. For the first three or four days there is a discharge from the uterus more or less sanguineous in character, consisting of blood, ...
— Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology • W. G. Aitchison Robertson

... and the racking pains of his other injuries, Jean Debry climbed the knotty trunk; seizing a large branch, he raised himself from bough to bough. A few birds, aroused from their slumbers, arose from the foliage and flitted away. Jean Debry followed them with his eyes, and whispered, ...
— LOUISA OF PRUSSIA AND HER TIMES • Louise Muhlbach

... when the latter is much bothered by a consideration of some knotty and perplexing philosophical subject. He bids the student relax every muscle,—take the tension from every nerve—throw aside all mental strain, and then wait a few moments. Then the student is instructed to grasp the subject ...
— A Series of Lessons in Raja Yoga • Yogi Ramacharaka

... Practical Forestry," "Eldridge's Finance"; while whole shelves of modern husbandry proclaimed that Mr. Humphrey Crewe was no amateur farmer. There was likewise a shelf devoted to road building, several to knotty-looking pamphlets, and half a wall of neatly labelled pigeonholes. For decoration, there was an oar garnished with a ribbon, and several groups of college undergraduates, mostly either in puffed ties or scanty attire, and always prominent in ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... old woman was not dead. She was lying on her back, on her wretched bed, her hands covered with a purple cotton counterpane, horribly thin, knotty hands, like the claws of strange animals, like crabs, half closed by rheumatism, fatigue and the work of nearly a century ...
— Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete • Guy de Maupassant

... on Exmoor. The uphill and downhill of Devonshire scorns compromise or mitigation by detour and zigzag. But here geography is on a scale so far more vast, and the roadway is so far worse metalled than with us in England—knotty masses of talc and nodes of sandstone cropping up at dangerous turnings—that only ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Second Series • John Addington Symonds

... this fellow, coming back again. I guess you've heard what a narrow squeak he had with me. You're welcome to go anywhere, just so long as you don't disturb my study down there in the boathouse. I use that because it overlooks the bay—just the place to study over knotty legal problems." ...
— The War Terror • Arthur B. Reeve

... wall. Anse tottered to his feet, moved a few inches so that he might still be in the sunshine, and settled down again. This small exertion started a cough that threatened to tear him apart. He drew his hand across his mouth and a red stain came away on the knotty knuckles. The warden was a kindly enough man in the ordinary relations of life, but nine years as a tamer of man-beasts in a great stone cage had overlaid his ...
— The Escape of Mr. Trimm - His Plight and other Plights • Irvin S. Cobb

... borne in by Joceline and Phoebe, and after it, leaning on a huge knotty stick, and having his nose in the air like a questing hound—for his attention was apparently more fixed on the good provisions that went before him, than any thing else—came Master Kerneguy, and ...
— Woodstock; or, The Cavalier • Sir Walter Scott

... sawdust brains the last time I fitted his head with new ears," explained the Wizard. "The sawdust was made from hard knots, and now the Sawhorse is able to think out any knotty problem he ...
— The Emerald City of Oz • L. Frank Baum

... presence of feculent matter deadens the sensibility of the intestine, so that great stimulation is required to provoke it to action. The contents become dry, solid, knotty, and hard, and very difficult to evacuate. If drastic, irritating physic be taken, only temporary relief is afforded, and it must be repeatedly resorted to, and the dose increased, to obtain the ...
— The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English • R. V. Pierce

... would have found the form of address patronizing. But the thin, knotty face of Edmonds was turned upon him with so kindly a regard in the hollow eyes that he felt an innate stir of knowledge that here was a man who might be a friend. He made no answer, however, merely glancing at the speaker. To learn that the denizens of Park Row were discussing ...
— Success - A Novel • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... plain, the wearers of them affecting a simple and savage ferocity in the fashion of their vesture. Some tribes had painted skins—beauty, in their view, consisting, apparently, in hideousness. There was one barbarian horde who wore very little clothing of any kind. They had knotty clubs for weapons, and, in lieu of a dress, they had painted their naked bodies half white ...
— Xerxes - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... now," said the youngster, who drove the axe into the fir block, and forced the wedge in; but the twisted, knotty block would not split, although the youngster worked as hard as he could with ...
— Folk Tales Every Child Should Know • Various

... headman of the village gave us a large hut with a grand doorway of about seven feet high, of which my wife took possession, while I joined the crowd at the tree. There were about six hundred men seated respectfully on the ground around me, while I sat with my back to the huge knotty trunk, with Ibrahim and Richarn ...
— The Albert N'Yanza, Great Basin of the Nile • Sir Samuel White Baker

... knot, varying in its size, it is loose and moveable, without pain or discolouration of the skin. It may continue in this state for many months, or even years; it then enlarges, the surface of the tumour becomes more or less knotty or uneven; it becomes hot and painful, and the pain is of a peculiar darting, piercing nature, or what the faculty technically call lancinating; and the patient's health, which had hitherto continued tolerably well, now begins to suffer from the ...
— Observations on the Causes, Symptoms, and Nature of Scrofula or King's Evil, Scurvy, and Cancer • John Kent

... watching on the bridge, his chin buried in his knotty hands, his little eyes blinking under stress of the inner fire he had. So it befell that La Testolina saw him, and said something shrill and saucy to her neighbour. The wind tossed him the tone but not the sense. He saw the joke run crackling down the line, all heads look ...
— Little Novels of Italy • Maurice Henry Hewlett

... from the city, as they stand on the ridge of the hill, are seen defined against the sky. The keenest eye in the world could not tell them from stones. So in a mountain five or six miles off, bushes, and heather, and roughnesses of knotty ground and rock, have still some effect on the eye, and by becoming confused and mingled as before described, soften the outline. But let the mountain be thirty miles off, and its edge will be as sharp as a knife. Let it, as in ...
— Modern Painters Volume I (of V) • John Ruskin

... which she accordingly did with great ardour. But the truth was that the house being full with the exception of one bed, which would now be occupied by Mr Pecksniff, she wanted time for consideration; and so much time too (for it was a knotty point how to dispose of them), that even when this second embrace was over, she stood for some moments gazing at the sisters, with affection beaming in one eye, and calculation shining ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... countenances and their vile barking, work their way with the public. These men, whenever the judge is embarrassed and perplexed, entangle the matter before him with further difficulties, and take pains to prevent any arrangement, carefully involving every suit in knotty subtleties. When these courts, however, go on rightly, they are temples of equity; but when they are perverted they are hidden and treacherous pitfalls, and if any person falls into them, he will not escape till after many years ...
— The Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus • Ammianus Marcellinus

... he had retired to bed, which he did—pleading fatigue as an excuse—at an early hour. The first ostensible circumstance connected with their guest of the night, which the family divan, with the father of it at their head, took into consideration when discussing the knotty points of the stranger's character and calling, was his apparel. But of this they could make nothing. His habiliments were in no ways remarkable for anything; they being neither good, bad, nor indifferent, but of that indefinite ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland Volume 17 • Alexander Leighton

... swains, beauteous goddesses and Athenian philosophers were judged the most fitting to stand before the English court. In scene after scene fair ladies talk of love, reverend sages display their readiness in solving knotty problems, lovers sigh into the air long rhapsodies over the charms of their mistresses, sharp-tongued (but rarely coarse) serving-boys lure fools into greater folly or exchange amusing badinage at the expense of their absent masters. The story does not advance much, but that ...
— The Growth of English Drama • Arnold Wynne

... possessed a self-reliance, a knowledge of nature, and a certain rough grace which made them interesting companions, and rendered them effective teachers of camping and trailing, and while they were secretly a little contemptuous of the "schoolboys"; they were all quite ready to ask for expert aid when knotty problems arose. It was no longer a question of grazing, it was a question of lumbering ...
— The Forester's Daughter - A Romance of the Bear-Tooth Range • Hamlin Garland



Words linked to "Knotty" :   problematic, complex, elusive, tangled, tough, gnarly, convoluted, knobbed, difficult, knotted, knot, snarled, problematical, gnarled, hard, snarly, knotty pine, involved, baffling, tortuous



Copyright © 2021 e-Free Translation.com