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  • Overhand Knot
    Overhand Knot
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v knot tie or fasten into a knot "knot the shoelaces"
    • v knot tangle or complicate "a ravelled story"
    • v knot make into knots; make knots out of "She knotted her fingers"
    • n knot a sandpiper that breeds in the Arctic and winters in the southern hemisphere
    • n knot any of various fastenings formed by looping and tying a rope (or cord) upon itself or to another rope or to another object
    • n knot soft lump or unevenness in a yarn; either an imperfection or created by design
    • n knot a tight cluster of people or things "a small knot of women listened to his sermon","the bird had a knot of feathers forming a crest"
    • n knot a unit of length used in navigation; exactly 1,852 meters; historically based on the distance spanned by one minute of arc in latitude
    • n knot something twisted and tight and swollen "their muscles stood out in knots","the old man's fists were two great gnarls","his stomach was in knots"
    • n knot a hard cross-grained round piece of wood in a board where a branch emerged "the saw buckled when it hit a knot"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Sailor's Knot Sailor's Knot
Bowline Knot Bowline Knot
Fisherman's Knot Fisherman's Knot
1. Square or Reef Knot 1. Square or Reef Knot
"You could tie a knot on your tail "You could tie a knot on your tail
Boat Knot. Sheet bend and Toggle. Clove Hitch Half Hitch Timber Hitch Boat Knot. Sheet bend and Toggle. Clove Hitch Half Hitch Timber Hitch

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The expression "Tying the Knot" comes from an old Roman custom where the brides clothes were tied up all in knots and the groom was supposed to untie the knots
    • Knot A bond of union; a connection; a tie. "With nuptial knot .""Ere we knit the knot that can never be loosed."
    • Knot A cluster of persons or things; a collection; a group; a hand; a clique; as, a knot of politicians. "Knots of talk.""His ancient knot of dangerous adversaries.""Palms in cluster, knots of Paradise.""As they sat together in small, separate knots, they discussed doctrinal and metaphysical points of belief."
    • Knot (Naut) A division of the log line, serving to measure the rate of the vessel's motion. Each knot on the line bears the same proportion to a mile that thirty seconds do to an hour. The number of knots which run off from the reel in half a minute, therefore, shows the number of miles the vessel sails in an hour.
    • Knot A fastening together of the parts or ends of one or more threads, cords, ropes, etc., by any one of various ways of tying or entangling.
    • Knot A figure the lines of which are interlaced or intricately interwoven, as in embroidery, gardening, etc. "Garden knots .""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."
    • Knot A kind of epaulet. See Shoulder knot.
    • Knot A knob, lump, swelling, or protuberance. "With lips serenely placid, felt the knot Climb in her throat."
    • Knot A lump or loop formed in a thread, cord, rope. etc., as at the end, by tying or interweaving it upon itself.
    • Knot (Naut) A nautical mile, or 6080.27 feet; as, when a ship goes nautical eight miles an hour, her speed is said to be eight knots .
    • Knot A portion of a branch of a tree that forms a mass of woody fiber running at an angle with the grain of the main stock and making a hard place in the timber. A loose knot is generally the remains of a dead branch of a tree covered by later woody growth.
    • Knot A protuberant joint in a plant.
    • Knot (Zoöl) A sandpiper (Tringa canutus), found in the northern parts of all the continents, in summer. It is grayish or ashy above, with the rump and upper tail coverts white, barred with dusky. The lower parts are pale brown, with the flanks and under tail coverts white. When fat it is prized by epicures. Called also dunne. "The knot that called was Canutus' bird of old,
      Of that great king of Danes his name that still doth hold,
      His appetite to please that far and near was sought."
    • Knot An ornamental tie, as of a ribbon.
    • Knot (Mech) See Node.
    • Knot Something not easily solved; an intricacy; a difficulty; a perplexity; a problem. "Knots worthy of solution.""A man shall be perplexed with knots, and problems of business, and contrary affairs."
    • Knot The point on which the action of a story depends; the gist of a matter. "I shoulde to the knotte condescend,
      And maken of her walking soon an end."
    • Knot To copulate; -- said of toads.
    • Knot To entangle or perplex; to puzzle.
    • Knot To form knots or joints, as in a cord, a plant, etc.; to become entangled. "Cut hay when it begins to knot ."
    • Knot To knit knots for fringe or trimming.
    • Knot To tie in or with, or form into, a knot or knots; to form a knot on, as a rope; to entangle. "Knotted curls.""As tight as I could knot the noose."
    • Knot To unite closely; to knit together.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The first man-made item to exceed the speed of sound is the bull whip our leather whip. When the whip is snapped, the knotted end makes a "crack" or popping noise. It is actually causing a mini sonic boom as it exceeds the speed of sound.
    • n knot An interlacement of parts of a cord, rope, or any flexible strip, formed by twisting the ends about each other, and then drawing tight the loops thus formed; also, a similar interlacing of two or more cords, threads, etc.: a bunch of threads or thread-like things entangled together.
    • n knot Specifically A piece of ribbon, lace, or the like folded or tied upon itself in some particular form, used as an ornamental adjunct to a costume, or to a sword, a cane, etc.: as, a knot of ribbon; a breast-knot; a shoulder-knot.
    • n knot Something resembling a knot in its complication, its protuberancy, or its rounded form.
    • n knot The hard, cross-grained mass of wood formed in a trunk at the insertion of a branch; particularly, the round, gnarly formation resulting from a branch being broken off and the tissues growing around its stump. This stump often decays, or falls out in cutting, leaving a knot-hole.
    • n knot A node in a stem, or any node-like expansion in a stem, pod, etc.
    • n knot An excrescence on a trunk or root; a gnarl or knur.
    • n knot A tuft, as of grass.
    • n knot A flower-bud.
    • n knot In lithol., a small concretion or aggregation of mineral matter, or imperfectly developed crystal, found occasionally in schistose rocks, appearing to be the result of contact metamorphism. Knots of this kind sometimes occur crowded together in large numbers, so as to give a knotty appearance to what otherwise would be a quite smooth slaty surface. Such slate is called knotted slate or schist (in German knotenschiefer). The knots are sometimes simply segregations of ferruginous material around a small fragment of the slate; sometimes more or less distinctly formed crystals, andalusite being the most common mineral thus occurring. This peculiar formation is well shown in the eastern Vosges and in the lake district of England.
    • n knot In mech., same as knote.
    • n knot In architecture, same as knob.
    • n knot In brush-making, a tuft of bristles ready to be fastened into a hole in the stock.
    • n knot In anatomy, a ganglion; a node; a plexus.
    • n knot A defect in flint-glass, consisting of an opaque particle of earthy matter from the furnace, or abraded from the glass-pot, or a particle of glass-gall, or an imperfectly vitrified grain of sand.
    • n knot In physical geography, an elevated and plateau-like region where several great chains of mountains unite: a term little used by geographers except in describing parts of the chain of the Andes.
    • n knot Nautical: A division of the log-line, so called from the series of pieces of string stuck through the strands and knotted at equal distances on the line, being the space between any consecutive two of such knots. When the 28-second glass is used, the length of the knot is 47.3 feet. See log. A nautical mile. The length of a sea-mile varies with the latitude, according to some authorities; but the United States Hydrographic Office and United States Coast Survey have adopted 6,080.27 feet as its constant length, the English Admiralty 6,080 feet. See mile.
    • n knot In geometry, a universal curve in three-dimensional space, which, upon being brought into a plane by any process of distortion whatever without the crossing of one part through another (that is, without passing through a nodal form), will always have nodes or crossings. A knot differs from a link in being unicursal, while a linking consists of two curves or ovals in space, which, after being brought into a plane by the above process, are always crossed the one with the other; a lacing consists of three which are similarly joined together, independently of any linking of pairs of them. An amphichiral knot is one which is its own perversion—that is, whose image in a mirror does not differ from the knot itself in respect to right- or left-handedness.
    • n knot In Essex, England, eighty rounds of the reel of baize, wool, or yarn.
    • n knot In heraldry, a piece or two or more pieces of cord so intertwined as to form an ornamental figure. There are many forms which were in common use as badges of certain noble families in the middle ages, which have been adopted as bearings in heraldry proper.
    • n knot In lace-making, a small and simple ornament projecting from the outer edge of the cordonnet, a variety of the fleur-volant.
    • n knot Any figure the lines of which frequently intersect each other: as, a garden knot (a parterre).
    • n knot A cluster; a collection; a group.
    • n knot A swirling wave. [Rare.]
    • n knot A bond of association; a close union or tie: as, the nuptial knot.
    • n knot A difficulty, intricacy, or perplexity; something not easily solved; a puzzle.
    • n knot The point on which the action or development of a narrative depends; the gist of a matter; the nucleus or kernel.
    • n knot In hunting, one of certain morsels of flesh from the fore quarters of a stag.
    • n knot A rocky summit. [Prov. Eng.]
    • n knot In heraldry, same as Harrington knot. (See also bow-knot, granny's-knot, slide-knot, slip-knot, wall-knot.)
    • knot To complicate or tie in a knot or knots; form a knot or knots in or on: as, to knot a cord or a handkerchief.
    • knot To fasten or secure by a knot.
    • knot Hence To entangle; perplex.
    • knot To unite or knit closely.
    • knot To remove the knots from, as a woven fabric, by pulling them out with small tweezers.
    • knot To cover the knots of: a preliminary process in painting on wood, so that the knots shall not show through.
    • knot To cover (metals, etc.) with knotting. See knotting, 3.
    • knot To form knots or joints, as in plants.
    • knot To knit knots for fringe; produce fancy work made by tying knots in cords. Compare knotting, knotwork, knotted-bar work.
    • knot To gather in knots; unite as in a knot.
    • knot To form flower-buds.
    • n knot The robin-snipe; the red-breasted or gray-backed sandpiper, Tringa canutus, a bird of the snipe family, Scolcpacidæ: It breeds within the arctic circle, and at other seasons than the summer is dispersed along most of the sea-coasts of the world. The knot is 10½ inches long, and 20½ inches in extent of wings. In summer the under parts are brownish-red; in winter, white. The upper parts of the adult are brownish-black, varied with tawny and white. The young are ashy above, varied with white, and with dark edgings of individual feathers. The knot usually goes in fllocks, like other small waders, and when it is fat its flesh is delicious.
    • n knot The ring-plover, Ægialitis hiaticula, whose habits on the beach resemble those of the knot.
    • n knot In musical instruments of the lute, viol, and similar classes, same as rose 1, 15.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Knot not a wading-bird much resembling a snipe, sometimes said, but without evidence, to be named from King Cnut or Canute.
    • n Knot not a bunch of threads or the like entangled or twisted: an interlacement of parts of a cord, &c., by twisting the ends about each other, and then drawing tight the loops thus formed: a piece of ribbon, lace, &c., folded or tied upon itself in some particular form, as shoulder-knot, breast-knot, &c.: anything like a knot in form: a bond of union: a difficulty: the gist of a matter: a cluster: the part of a tree where a branch shoots out: an epaulet:
    • v.t Knot to tie in a knot: to unite closely
    • v.i Knot to form knots or joints: to knit knots for a fringe:—pr.p. knot′ting; pa.t. and pa.p. knot′ted
    • n Knot not (naut.) a division of the knot-marked log-line: a nautical mile
    • ***


  • William Congreve
    “Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.”
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
    “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”


Cut the Gordian knot - If someone cuts the Gordian knot, they solve a very complex problem in a simple way.
Tie the knot - When people tie the knot, they get married.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. knot, knotte, AS. cnotta,; akin to D. knot, OHG. chnodo, chnoto, G. knoten, Icel. knūtr, Sw. knut, Dan. knude, and perh. to L. nodus,. Cf. Knout Knit
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. cnotta; Ger. knoten, Dan. knude, L. nodus.


In literature:

Eric was with a little knot of his chief friends, enjoying the sea-breeze as they sat on the grass.
"Eric, or Little by Little" by Frederic W. Farrar
Francois noticed that the tree was thickly branched, and therefore there are many knots in the wood.
"The Young Voyageurs" by Mayne Reid
Torches should be made of dry pine-knots, and carried in some shallow vessel.
"The Hunters' Feast" by Mayne Reid
We were doing thirty knots and at thirty knots a little ship doesn't need a masthead sea to get action.
"The U-boat hunters" by James B. Connolly
Knots in shoe-strings were very perplexing at this period when no one had dreamed of button boots.
"A Little Girl in Old Boston" by Amanda Millie Douglas
She had a speed of twenty-three knots.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume V (of 12)"
In dyeing, the cloth is tied in knots when dipped, and thus has a clouded effect.
"Textiles" by William H. Dooley
We are not making more than four knots now.
"Four Young Explorers" by Oliver Optic
Be very particular about the knot, mind.
"The Crystal Hunters" by George Manville Fenn
When Johnnie spied Red in the water he thought for a moment or two that he would find Red's clothes on the bank and tie knots in them.
"The Tale of Snowball Lamb" by Arthur Bailey
No tides here, but assisted by the current make about two knots per hour.
"A Journey to America in 1834" by Robert Heywood
Thor tried to open the wallet, but he found it was not easy to undo the knots.
"The Children of Odin" by Padraic Colum
The two remaining battleships had now reached seventeen knots, which was their best speed.
"The World Peril of 1910" by George Griffith
The log-slate showed that we had made eleven and a half knots.
"Up the River" by Oliver Optic
Eighteen knots and both eyes shut!
"Blow The Man Down" by Holman Day
Jenkins was back among them soon, remarking that she was making twenty knots already.
"The Wreck of the Titan" by Morgan Robertson
Her average speed was nine knots, but with a fair wind she did eleven.
"Famous Sea Fights" by John Richard Hale
Jus' used pine knots.
"Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves, Arkansas Narratives, Part 4" by Work Projects Administration
The weaver's knot is the best for joining the lengths of thread.
"Bookbinding, and the Care of Books" by Douglas Cockerell
If ten knots or divisions run out while the 14 second glass empties itself, the ship's speed is 20 knots per hour.
"Lectures in Navigation" by Ernest Gallaudet Draper

In poetry:

Like eagles' talons grew his nails;
His limbs were thick and strong;
And dreadful was the knotted oak
He bare with him along.
"Valentine and Ursine" by Anonymous British
Why, among laws, was one forgot,
That would untie the marriage knot?
Prevent three evils at one view,
As scolding, fighting, killing too?
"The Pleasures Of Matrimony" by William Hutton
And when thou sang'st with gentle voice,
The "Bonnie Breast Knots" too;
'Twas like the words of peace and love,
That follow war's wild crew.
"To Lora Gordon Boon" by James Avis Bartley
The swain, 'tis said, look'd rather queer,
But found himself not master there.
"Sir, not a soul beneath the sky
Can tie a faster knot than I."
"A Tour To Scotland" by William Hutton
And here was love, and there was strife,
And mirthful shouts, and wrathful cries,
And strong men, struggling as for life,
With knotted limbs and angry eyes.
"A Dream" by William Cullen Bryant
Cool and dark fell the autumn night,
But the Bashaba's wigwam glowed with light,
For down from its roof, by green withes hung,
Flaring and smoking the pine-knots swung.
"The Bridal of Pennacook" by John Greenleaf Whittier

In news:

Luxembourg royals tie knot in religious ceremony .
85-year-olds tie the knot after 48 year divorce.
Tomorrow, two 85-year-olds who got married 48 years ago, but got divorced 20 years later, are re-tying the knot.
If you're a baby boomer looking at finding happiness in midlife by remarrying, you may want to seek financial advice before you tie the knot.
A simple loop passed over the hook gives the palomar knot all the strength of the line.
Columbus, they say, crossed the Atlantic at a speed of roughly four knots.
It was one of those games where someone fashioned a ball similar to a football, or used something like a knotted shirt or towel.
The Caps knotted this baby back up at two with a pair of second-period tallies.
For example, pay close attention to the situations when you lose energy, feel a knot in your stomach, or want to cry.
Big Bear Lake, Ca May 24, 2011 8:00 am – The Shirt Shanty has been in the Village on the corner of Pine Knot and Village Drive since 1981.
Capable of going more than 25 knots or about 29 mph.
NEWSChannel 2 wants to congratulate anchor Don Shipman and his partner Adam Lawless who tied the knot on Saturday.
'Moonbird' follows journey of red knot shorebird .
The method has successfully analyzed several complex tangles and is applicable to simplifying a large class of knots and links.
Missing from the event was Paquin's costar and husband of two years, Stephen Moyer, who has been in Atlanta shooting Devil's Knot.

In science:

In addition, the X-ray and optical peaks in knot B appear offset, and no X-ray emission is seen in knot H2.
Revealing the Energetics and Structure of AGN Jets
AK /A for the four knots also seem to be independent of the knot type.
Anomalous finite-size effects and canonical asymptotic behaviors for the mean-squared gyration radius of Gaussian random knots
Each of these knots splits into two branches and – correspondingly – two new knots.
AMEGIC++ 1.0, A Matrix Element Generator In C++
These invariants are useful for the theory of virtual knots and links as they vanish on classical knots and links.
Bi-oriented Quantum Algebras, and a Generalized Alexander Polynomial for Virtual Links
Virtual knot theory is an extension of classical knot theory.
Bi-oriented Quantum Algebras, and a Generalized Alexander Polynomial for Virtual Links
Kauffman, A Survey of Virtual Knot Theory in Proceedings of Knots in Hel las ’98, World Sci.
Bi-oriented Quantum Algebras, and a Generalized Alexander Polynomial for Virtual Links
The identification of these solitons as knots is then suggested by the relation of knots to the SUq (2) invariant ǫq .
Note on q-Dual Theories
We show that the distribution ˜fK of normalized distance x for a knot K should be almost independent of the knot type.
Distribution of the distance between opposite nodes of random polygons with a fixed knot
By fixing the order of splines, the usual way of increasing the subspace dimension is to increase the number of knots, decreasing thereby the distance, b, say, between two adjacent knots.
Cardinal B-spline dictionaries on a compact interval
Given a knot diagram or a movie representation of a knotted surface, there are very natural handle decompositions of the complement of any regular neighbourhood of them.
Categorical Groups, Knots and Knotted Surfaces
This type of handle decompositions of knot complements motivates the definition of flat colourings of knot diagrams.
Categorical Groups, Knots and Knotted Surfaces
For this particular case, in both 3 and 4 dimensions, the invariant I = IG is simply the number of morphisms from the complement of the knot or the knotted surface into G, which tells us that the invariant constructed in this article is non-trivial.
Categorical Groups, Knots and Knotted Surfaces
There are no knot classes since any knot can be undone by self crossings.
DNA Elasticity : Topology of Self-Avoidance
As is well-known, every planar graph is in bijective correspondence with some knot universe (knot shadow), which in turn gives rise to an alternating link diagram.
Categorification of the Dichromatic Polynomial for Graphs
The knot Floer homology of and is an invariant for knots in S 3 whose Euler characteristic is the Alexander polynomial of the knot.
Holomorphic disks and link invariants