any system of communication in which the natives of a jungle or bush region transmit news rapidly, as by runners, drum codes, or smoke signals.
- any chain of communications by which criminals, originally bushrangers, are warned of police movements.
- Slang. rumor; the grapevine.
Origin of bush telegraph
First recorded in 1875–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for bush telegraph
a means of communication between primitive peoples over large areas, as by drum beats
a means of spreading rumour, gossip, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012