See more synonyms for grapevine on
  1. a vine that bears grapes.
  2. Also called grapevine telegraph. a person-to-person method of spreading rumors, gossip, information, etc., by informal or unofficial conversation, letter writing, or the like.
  3. a private or secret source of information.

Origin of grapevine

1645–55; 1860–65, Americanism for def 2; grape + vine


  1. a town in N Texas. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for grapevine

trailer, creeper, climber, hearsay, rumor

Examples from the Web for grapevine

Contemporary Examples of grapevine

Historical Examples of grapevine

  • The pioneers wrought as best they might on the Grapevine Bridge.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • He folded the piece of carpet and laid it over the grapevine.

  • Before the grapevine swayed again, the Sparrows were far away.

    Dooryard Stories

    Clara Dillingham Pierson

  • There is something in the north that is called “Grapevine telegraph.”

    The Shadow Passes

    Roy J. Snell

  • On a tiny hillock was a small gallows with grapevine attachment.

    Dixie After the War

    Myrta Lockett Avary

British Dictionary definitions for grapevine


  1. any of several vitaceous vines of the genus Vitis, esp V. vinifera of E Asia, widely cultivated for its fruit (grapes): family Vitaceae
  2. informal an unofficial means of relaying information, esp from person to person
  3. a wrestling hold in which a wrestler entwines his own leg around his opponent's and exerts pressure against various joints
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

Word Origin and History for grapevine

1736, from grape + vine. Meaning "rumor source" is 1862, U.S. Civil War slang for "telegraph wires."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper