grape vine telegraph


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.

1645–55; 1860–65, Americanism for def 2; grape + vine Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
grapevine (ˈɡreɪpˌvaɪn)
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

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