tie in knots
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.
tie someone (up) in knots
Fig. to become anxious or upset. John tied himself in knots worrying about his wife during her operation. This waiting and worrying really ties me up in knots.
tie somebody (up) in knotsalso tie somebody into knots
to cause someone to become very confused or worried They tied themselves up in knots over the seating arrangements for the party. The possibility of layoffs in Joe's department has tied him into knots.
tie yourself (up) in knots
1. to become very confused or worried when you are trying to make a decision or solve a problem (often + over ) They tied themselves in knots over the seating arrangements.
2. (British & Australian) to become very confused when you are trying to explain something She tied herself up in knots trying to tell me how to operate the video recorder.