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Definition of knotty:

  1. Difficult; intricate; perplexed.
  2. Full of knots; knotted; having many knots; as, knotty timber; a knotty rope.
  3. Hard; rugged; as, a knotty head.

Synonyms:

complex, preserve, mired, intricate, convolute, snarly, toughened, involved, simple, incomprehensible, difficult, problematical, knotted, tortuous, tangled, voluminous, subtle, crooked, debatable, elaborate, involute, joinery, sawdust, sturdy, contorted, winding, ruffianly, bad, season, confusing, gnarled, labyrinthine, mortise, mortice, carpentry, confused, hard, snarled, problematic, dovetail, daedal, baffling, twisting, elusive, twisty, Daedalian, sand, Byzantine, convoluted, gnarly, knobbed.

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