Use it in a sentence. This is interesting.
1. a very difficult problem, insoluble in its own terms; an inextricable difficulty; to cut the Gordian knot is to remove a difficulty by bold and energetic measures: “A territorial dispute over an incredibly small plot of land had become a multi-generational Gordian knot.”
2. an intricate knot tied by Gordius, the king of Phrygia, and cut by the sword of Alexander the Great after he heard that whoever undid it would become ruler of Asia
Approximately 1579; an allusion to the knot tied in legend by Gordius, king of Phrygia.
“In ‘Caucasia,’ those bystanders are children, Cole and Birdie Lee. Their mother, Sandy, is the shy, overweight daughter of a Cambridge blue blood (Cotton Mather is a cherished ancestor) and a liberal Harvard academic. Their father, Deck, is a bright, upwardly mobile graduate student who grew up scant miles (and yet light years) away, in the Orchard Street Projects of Dorchester. Like a lot of interracial couples at the time, Sandy Lodge and Deck Lee marry in the assumption that the Gordian knot that is America’s race problem would loosen, if not come undone, in the foreseeable future. It doesn’t, of course. In Boston it grows even tighter, as the tension surrounding the great busing experiment of the early 1970s polarizes the city’s black and white populations to an even greater degree.”
Karen Grigsby Bates. “Passing: Blacks who go incognito in white society learn terrible truths and tell dangerous lies.” [Book Review: ‘Caucasia’ by Danzy Senna] Salon.com (April 15, 1998).
“Perhaps the secret of Oprah’s success lies in her ability to align worthy ideals with canny marketing. There are those who balk at the fact that she is the world’s most influential book critic, that Toni Morrison landed on the mass-culture map not because of her Nobel Prize but because Oprah coronated two of her books. That Morrison might be, at least for a moment, as hot a commodity as a Beanie Baby is an irony, but even the mustiest academic has to admit it’s a sweet one. Perhaps because pop-icon status is so often accorded to people of slight or dubious achievement, we become suspicious when achievers like Morrison get what they deserve from us. If a rhapsodic review from Oprah can help to untie that Gordian knot of reasoning, so much the better.”
Erin J. Aubry. “The Oprah Effect: The TV star has transformed the publishing world,” LA Weekly (May 29 – June 4, 1998).