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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Knot \Knot\ (n[o^]t), n. [OE. knot, knotte, AS. cnotta; akin to D. knot, OHG. chnodo, chnoto, G. knoten, Icel. kn[=u]tr, Sw. knut, Dan. knude, and perh. to L. nodus. Cf. Knout, Knit.] 1. (a) 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. (b) A lump or loop formed in a thread, cord, rope. etc., as at the end, by tying or interweaving it upon itself. (c) An ornamental tie, as of a ribbon. [1913 Webster] Note: The names of knots vary according to the manner of their making, or the use for which they are intended; as, dowknot, reef knot, stopper knot, diamond knot, etc. [1913 Webster] 2. A bond of union; a connection; a tie. "With nuptial knot." --Shak. [1913 Webster] Ere we knit the knot that can never be loosed. --Bp. Hall. [1913 Webster] 3. Something not easily solved; an intricacy; a difficulty; a perplexity; a problem. [1913 Webster] Knots worthy of solution. --Cowper. [1913 Webster] A man shall be perplexed with knots, and problems of business, and contrary affairs. --South. [1913 Webster] 4. A figure the lines of which are interlaced or intricately interwoven, as in embroidery, gardening, etc. "Garden knots." --Bacon. [1913 Webster] 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. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 5. A cluster of persons or things; a collection; a group; a hand; a clique; as, a knot of politicians. "Knots of talk." --Tennyson. [1913 Webster] His ancient knot of dangerous adversaries. --Shak. [1913 Webster] Palms in cluster, knots of Paradise. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster] As they sat together in small, separate knots, they discussed doctrinal and metaphysical points of belief. --Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster] 6. 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. [1913 Webster] 7. A knob, lump, swelling, or protuberance. [1913 Webster] With lips serenely placid, felt the knot Climb in her throat. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster] 8. A protuberant joint in a plant. [1913 Webster] 9. The point on which the action of a story depends; the gist of a matter. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] I shoulde to the knotte condescend, And maken of her walking soon an end. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 10. (Mech.) See Node. [1913 Webster] 11. (Naut.) (a) 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. Hence: (b) 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. [1913 Webster] 12. A kind of epaulet. See Shoulder knot. [1913 Webster] 13. (Zool.) 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. [1913 Webster] Note: The name is said to be derived from King Canute, this bird being a favorite article of food with him. [1913 Webster] 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. --Drayton. [1913 Webster]