a vine that bears grapes.
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.
a private or secret source of information.

Origin of grapevine

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




a town in N Texas. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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



any of several vitaceous vines of the genus Vitis, esp V. vinifera of E Asia, widely cultivated for its fruit (grapes): family Vitaceae
informal an unofficial means of relaying information, esp from person to person
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