Die on the vine

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Die on the vine is an idiom with an uncertain origin. We will examine the meaning of the common saying die on the vine, when it came into use, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

Die on the vine is an idiom that describes failing at an early stage of development, to be unsuccessful before a project has gotten very far. When something is said to die on the vine, it is usually because of a lack of interest or effort. For instance, an unpopular proposal that is introduced in a governing body might not be passed because so few people support it or will work for its passage. While no one actively opposed this unpopular proposal, it might be said to die on the vine because no one championed the proposal, either. Related phrases are dies on the vine, died on the vine, dying on the vine. The expression die on the vine came into popular use in the mid-twentieth century, though its exact origin is unknown at this time.


It was different from previous revivals that would bud only to die on the vine; this one, finally, was taking root. (Bloomberg News)

However, as we all have learned, if you don’t adjust to the “new normal,” your consulting practice will likely die on the vine. (Forbes Magazine)

Alamo at one time considered opening a multi-screen movie theater at Tomoka Town Center but apparently its interest “died on the vine,” Lentz said. (Daytona Beach News-Journal)