cut the Gordian knot


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to cut the Gordian knot: Alexandrian solution

cut the Gordian knot

To solve a very challenging or daunting problem decisively. The phrase likely alludes to Gordius, the king of Phrygia, who tied a knot that an oracle proclaimed would only be cut by the future ruler of Asia. Alexander the Great allegedly cut the Gordian knot in one blow. A: "Wait, Matt already solved that impossible equation?" B: "Yes! I have no idea how he did it, but he sure cut the Gordian knot."
See also: cut, Gordian, knot

cut the Gordian knot

LITERARY
If someone cuts the Gordian knot, they deal with a difficult situation in a quick, forceful and effective way. Mr Sandler cut the Gordian knot that was strangling the market. Note: Verbs such as break, untie and untangle are sometimes used instead of cut. Which country should make the first move to untie the Gordian knot? Note: Gordian knot is used to describe a problem that is very difficult to solve. The federal deficit has become the Gordian knot of Washington. He found himself tied up in a real emotional Gordian Knot. Note: According to an ancient legend, Gordius, the king of Phrygia, tied a knot that nobody could untie. It was said that if anyone untied it, they would become the next ruler of Asia. When Alexander the Great heard this, he solved the problem by cutting through the knot with a sword.
See also: cut, Gordian, knot

cut the Gordian knot

solve or remove a problem in a direct or forceful way, rejecting gentler or more indirect methods.
The knot referred to is that with which Gordius, king of ancient Phrygia (in Asia Minor), fastened the yoke of his wagon to the pole. Its complexity was such that it gave rise to the legend that whoever could undo it would become the ruler of Asia. When Alexander the Great passed that way en route to conquer the East he is said simply to have severed the knot with his sword.
See also: cut, Gordian, knot

cut/untie the ˌGordian ˈknot

solve a very difficult or complicated problem with forceful action: Will the negotiators be able to untie the Gordian knot?This expression comes from the legend in which King Gordius tied a very complicated knot and said that whoever untied it would become the ruler of Asia. Alexander the Great cut through the knot with his sword.
See also: cut, Gordian, knot
References in periodicals archive ?
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Tuesday cut the Gordian knot by sacking his foreign minister of nine months, Makiko Tanaka.
Where others had tried and failed for 40 years, Bruce Babbitt had cut the Gordian knot.
Interactive Intelligence has taken a fairly simple proposition -- that communications can automate processes -- and used it to cut the Gordian knot tangling unified communications, agent management, and business process optimization," Dawson said.
Given the slight impasse we had over the region list selections [when there was a clash within the party over whether they should be selected by a committee or by the votes of all members], which ended when I cut the Gordian knot and let the members vote, and given what I have said about democracy going up and delegates going down, that may give you a clue as to what I'm thinking.
It is, perhaps, the knife that will cut the Gordian Knot of the pending Cyprus problem," the President said, noting that this was something that all interlocutors understood at the UN, Europe and the United States and everywhere else it has been raised.
Should it try to continue to play the role of the little boy with his finger in the dike and simply wait indefinitely to see if unknown factors will allow Kosovo society to cut the Gordian knot restricting development of the rule of law?
According to legend who cut the Gordian knot with his sword?
com), "Customers say Fusion reflects an intimate understanding of the needs of a large Cobol shop under pressure to cut the Gordian knot of backlog.
However, after originally promising this legislation by the end of 2008, only recently did the Minister of the Interior boast that he had finally cut the Gordian Knot, his oft-used phrase for this mess, by getting certain bills passed by parliament," said CPAG's O'Hare.
My colleagues and I cut the Gordian knot and pulled them down.
Full browser ?