hear (something) through the grapevine

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hear (something) through the grapevine

To hear or learn of something through an informal means of communication, especially gossip. I heard through the grapevine that Stacy and Mark are getting a divorce. A: "How do you know the company is going bust?" B: "I heard it through the grapevine."
See also: grapevine, hear, through
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

hear something through the grapevine

or

hear something on the grapevine

BRITISH
COMMON If you hear a piece of news through the grapevine or hear it on the grapevine, you are told it informally by someone who was told it by someone else. I heard through the grapevine that she was looking for work. She heard on the grapevine that he had come back to London. Note: One of the early telegraph systems in America was given the nickname `the grapevine telegraph' because the wires often became tangled, so that they reminded people of grapevines. During the American Civil War, the telegraph system was used to communicate propaganda and false information, as well as real news about the progress of battles, so that anything heard on the `grapevine' was likely to be unreliable.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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References in periodicals archive ?
Recently, I heard through the grapevine that the person left.
He had mistakenly heard through the grapevine that he absolutely had to acquire property exactly like the property he was about to relinquish.
We've heard through the grapevine that the handle of a screwdriver or another tool is doing the damage.
I cautioned her because I had already heard through the grapevine that Rock had married his agent's secretary, Phyllis Gates, to offset the gay rumors.
We heard through the grapevine that Arkansas recently lost a major trucking company expansion to Memphis, Tenn.