American English

Definition of Gordian knot noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary


Gordian knot

NAmE//ˌɡɔrdiən ˈnɑt//
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a very difficult or impossible task or problem to cut/untie the Gordian knot (= to solve a problem by taking action) From the story in which King Gordius tied a very complicated knot and said that whoever undid it would become the ruler of Asia. Alexander the Great cut through the knot with his sword.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: Gordian knot