See also: Grapevine



Alternative forms




From grape +‎ vine. (This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium. Particularly: “non-literal senses”)



grapevine (plural grapevine or grapevines)

  1. The plant, a vine of genus Vitis, on which grapes grow.
    Synonym: winetree
    Although many grape vines have geographical names, those rarely reflect their real origin, if known at all.
  2. A rumor.
    • 1937 February, Hudson Hawley, “There IS a Saluting Demon”, in American Legion Monthly[1], volume 22, number 2, page 23:
      The legend, like all army grapevine, got around to me.
    • 2009, Sinikiwe Joyce Msindo, Sweet Lemons, page 9:
      The grapevine was that the reason for the school closure was to do with the fact that a lot of students from Bonda had absconded to go to war because Bonda was close to the border between Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
    • 2020 January 13, “Pullela Gopichand blames Prakash Padukone for encouraging Saina Nehwal to leave Hyderabad”, in ESPN:
      The grapevine was that Saina believed that Gopichand was focussing more on PV Sindhu.·
  3. An informal person-to-person means of circulating information or gossip.
    Synonyms: jungle drums, bush telegraph, jungle telegraph, mulga wire, rumor mill
    I heard through the grapevine that Jim will be leaving soon.
  4. (skating) A move in which the feet are alternately placed in front of each other, while both remaining on the ice or ground, incorporating half-turns.
  5. (wrestling) A leglock.
  6. A dance figure in partner dancing that includes sidesteps and steps across the support foot. See Grapevine (dance move).

Derived terms



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.



grapevine (third-person singular simple present grapevines, present participle grapevining, simple past and past participle grapevined)

  1. (transitive, wrestling) To restrain in a leglock.
    • 2007, Steve Wolfe, Call Us Champions: More Alaska Wrestling Stories:
      From the top he grapevined his leg around Tibbits' leg and planted his elbow in his opponent's opposite side.
    • 2008, Saulo Ribeiro, Jiu-Jitsu University:
      The Low Mount is the position where your hips are tight to your opponent's and your legs are usually grapevined or locked underneath his.
    • 2022, David Young, Sean Black, The Ground Is My Ocean:
      So now she's grapevined me, I can't straighten my legs, which means I can't generate the momentum I need to bridge.
  2. To drape or curl around adjacent objects.
    • 1953 October, E.F. Lindsley, “What You Can Do With Spark-Plug Tester”, in Popular Science, volume 163, number 4, page 204:
      This results from the plug wires being grapevined around each other too closely.
    • 2012, Daniel Handler, Watch Your Mouth:
      I drove around town looking at the limp glitter of Christmas decorations grapevined around traffic lights which just blinked after a certain hour, even on a Friday night.
    • 2014, Celeste Corey-Zopich, Brett Howard, Dawn-Marie Ickes, Pilates for Children and Adolescents:
      Balance on the back of the sit bones with the arms “grapevined” under the calves, with hands wrapping around to hold the ankles.
    • 2017, Aben Kandel, City for Conquest:
      A matted beard tingled from his shin and grapevined all over the exposed parts of his body.
    • 2020, Laurell K.Hamilton, Fantastic Hope:
      I grapevined my right arm around one of his legs, then flung myself backward to the ground, slamming the knife-wielding idiot into the ground, and my shoulders into the idiot.
  3. To move one's body in a smooth undulating wave while stepping in the direction the wave is moving.
    • 2013, S.C. Rackes, Cast a Dark Shadow, page 25:
      Up on the stage, the dancers twirled and whirled in time to the music and then grapevined across the broad expanse and exited stage left.
    • 2020, Emily Henry, Beach Read:
      The underwear-baker grapevined down the length of the display and grabbed a to-go box from the stack on top of it.
    • 2023, Betsy Schow, Finished Being Fat: An Accidental Adventure in Losing Weight:
      When the room grapevined left, I grapevined right, causing a head-on collision with the lady next to me.
  4. To score mortar at a joint.
    • 1986, Rebecca Herbst, Vicki Rottman, Historic Bridges of Colorado, page 88:
      The bridge is faced with rusticated stone and grapevined mortar joints, a trademark of WPA-built structures in southeast Colorado, and features beveled stone piers, corbeled copings and tapered voussoirs for the arches.
    • 2021, Clay Lancaster, Antebellum Architecture of Kentucky:
      Generally the mortar line was “grapevined” (scored) and “penciled” (the score painted with a fine white line), which separated each brick.
  5. (of information) To spread as a rumor.
    • 1958, Walter Russell, Lao Russell, The World Crisis: Its Explanation and Solution, page 94:
      For several years, as Mr. Watson's challenge gradually grapevined its way through the business world, many business groups asked Mr. Russell to speak at their directors' meetings and conventions.
    • 1964, Dorothy Shipley White ·, Seeds of Discord, page 27:
      But the story grapevined around to Marshal Petain.
    • 2009, Katharine Graham, Katharine Graham's Washington:
      Word of the fight grapevined fast, and from all the other bonus army camps reinforcements rushed in.
  6. (of a person or group) To spread (a rumor).
    • 2014, Gordon S. (Mickey) Cochrane, Baseball: The Fans' Game, page 125:
      The doctor's orders were soon grapevined around the league, and all the bench jockeys on the circuit were quickly counting ten on every pitch Lefty made.
    • 2015, Robert A. Bonner, Embers in the Ashes (Of History and Indifference):
      His flock had already grapevined the what and why.
    • 2022, Chih-Ping Chou, Carlos Lin, Power of Freedom: Hu Shih's Political Writings, page 282:
      It will not only be long remembered by the nine million Chinese on Formosa and the twelve and half million overseas Chinese, but will soon be grapevined to the Chinese mainland and whispered there from person to person among the hundreds of millions of Chinese who have been living and suffering for the last five years under Communist tyranny.
  7. To link up through an informal communication network.
    • 2005, Okeyo A. Jumal, Spiritual Shackles: Historical Novel, page 63:
      But with the Negro foster homes in Pasadena grapevined together, the circumstances of little Narva did not make anyone enthusiastic about taking her into their homes.