hear on the grapevine

hear on the grapevine

also hear through the grapevine


  • to hear rumours about something
  • to hear some news from someone who heard it from someone else
  • to learn of something informally, usually verbally


  1. I heard on the grapevine that he was being promoted, but I don’t know anything further.
  2. It was heard through the grapevine that the captain of the team was stepping down, but the news could not be confirmed.
  3. We keep hearing it on the grapevine that the two co-stars of that movie are getting married, but they are not saying anything.
  4. We heard on the grapevine that our company would be taken over by another one, but the official communication says otherwise.
  5. I heard on the grapevine that our neighbours were expecting a baby, but I don’t know much about it.

After the invention of the telegraph in the mid 1800s, the term “grapevine telegraph” was coined for rapid communication of news by word of mouth in closely knit communities, who were usually the rural poor and lived near grapevines, as they grew grapes. This exact phrase came into use around the mid 1900s and was a reference to the term “grapevine telegraph” coined earlier.

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