1. To tie or knot something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "knot" and "up." These mittens have a string that you can knot up to keep them together.
2. To become tied or knotted. For some reason, these strands of Christmas lights tend to knot up more than the others.
3. To cause something to become tense or painful. A noun or pronoun can be used between "knot" and "up." Nerves knotted my stomach up before I took the stage at the talent show. Why don't you try stretching when your back gets all knotted up?
4. To tie the score in a game or contest. A noun or pronoun can be used between "knot" and "up." A great shot from one of their defensemen knotted up the score at 2-2.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. To tangle or tie something in a knot or knots: The wind knotted my hair up. Don't let the kittens knot up the yarn.
2. To become tangled or tied in a knot or knots: My shoelaces knotted up. If you don't comb your hair, it will knot up.
3. To make something or someone painfully tense, as from illness or grief: Something I ate has knotted up my stomach. The sad scene at the end of the movie knotted me up. I get all knotted up when I think of the terrible accident.
4. To equal an opponent's score in some contest: The home team knotted up the game. The hockey player knotted it up with a last-minute goal. The game was knotted up at 2-2.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.