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3 definitions found
 for knotty
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Knotty \Knot"ty\, a. [Compar. Knottier; superl. Knottiest.]
     1. Full of knots; knotted; having many knots; as, knotty
        timber; a knotty rope.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. Hard; rugged; as, a knotty head. [R.] --Rewe.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. Difficult; intricate; perplexed.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              A knotty point to which we now proceed --Pope.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  knotty
      adj 1: making great mental demands; hard to comprehend or solve
             or believe; "a baffling problem"; "I faced the knotty
             problem of what to have for breakfast"; "a problematic
             situation at home" [syn: baffling, elusive, knotty,
             problematic, problematical, tough]
      2: used of old persons or old trees; covered with knobs or
         knots; "gnarled and knotted hands"; "a knobbed stick" [syn:
         gnarled, gnarly, knotted, knotty, knobbed]
      3: highly complex or intricate and occasionally devious; "the
         Byzantine tax structure"; "Byzantine methods for holding on
         to his chairmanship"; "convoluted legal language";
         "convoluted reasoning"; "the plot was too involved"; "a
         knotty problem"; "got his way by labyrinthine maneuvering";
         "Oh, what a tangled web we weave"- Sir Walter Scott;
         "tortuous legal procedures"; "tortuous negotiations lasting
         for months" [syn: Byzantine, convoluted, involved,
         knotty, tangled, tortuous]
      4: tangled in knots or snarls; "a mass of knotted string";
         "snarled thread" [syn: knotty, snarled, snarly]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  88 Moby Thesaurus words for "knotty":
     Byzantine, Herculean, abstruse, arduous, beyond one, brutal,
     burled, complex, complicated, crabbed, cramp, critical, daedal,
     delicate, demanding, difficile, difficult, effortful, elaborate,
     exacting, formidable, garbled, gnarled, gnarly, gordian, hairy,
     hard, hard to understand, hard-earned, hard-fought, intricate,
     involved, jawbreaking, jumbled, knobbed, knobbly, knobby, knoblike,
     knotted, knurled, knurly, laborious, labyrinthine, lumpy, mean,
     no picnic, nodal, noded, nodiform, nodose, nodular, nodulated,
     noduled, not easy, nubbled, nubbly, nubby, obfuscated, obscure,
     obscured, operose, overtechnical, perplexed, rigorous, rough,
     rugged, scrambled, set with thorns, severe, sophisticated, spiny,
     steep, sticky, strenuous, studded, terrible, thorny, ticklish,
     toilsome, torose, tough, tricky, tubercular, tuberculous, tuberose,
     tuberous, uphill, wicked
  
  

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