tie (one) (up) in knots

(redirected from tie somebody up in knots)

tie (one) (up) in knots

To make one confused, anxious, worried, and/or upset. I've been planning to propose to James on Sunday, but the nervousness is tying me in knots! It's something about the austere, imposing way the boss speaks that always ties everyone up in knots.
See also: knot, tie
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
See also: knot, tie
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

tie someone in knots

or

tie someone up in knots

If someone ties you in knots or ties you up in knots in a discussion or argument, they confuse you by using clever arguments, so that you cannot argue or think clearly any longer. He could tie her in knots in an argument and never once missed an opportunity to prove his intellectual superiority. He had easily tied her up in knots, cleverly casting serious doubt on her mental faculties.
See also: knot, someone, tie
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

tie someone (up) in knots

make someone completely confused. informal
1996 Daily Star It looks like an open and shut case until the brilliant QC starts getting the prosecution witnesses tied up in knots.
See also: knot, someone, tie
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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