inform

verb
in·​form | \ in-ˈfȯrm How to pronounce inform (audio) \
informed; informing; informs

Definition of inform

transitive verb

1 : to communicate knowledge to inform a prisoner of his rights
2a : to give character or essence to the principles which inform modern teaching
b : to be the characteristic quality of : animate the compassion that informs her work
3 obsolete : to give material form to
4 obsolete : guide, direct
5 obsolete : to make known

intransitive verb

1 : to give information (as of another's wrongdoing) to an authority informed on a member of his own gang
2 : to impart information or knowledge

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Synonyms for inform

Synonyms

fink, grass (on) [British slang], rat (on), sing, snitch, split (on) [British], squeak, squeal, talk, tell (on)

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Choose the Right Synonym for inform

inform, acquaint, apprise, notify mean to make one aware of something. inform implies the imparting of knowledge especially of facts or occurrences. informed us of the crisis acquaint lays stress on introducing to or familiarizing with. acquaint yourself with the keyboard apprise implies communicating something of special interest or importance. keep us apprised of the situation notify implies sending notice of something requiring attention or demanding action. notified the witness when to appear

Examples of inform in a Sentence

The book will entertain and inform you. The arresting officer failed to inform the suspect of his rights. He failed to inform the suspect that he had the right to remain silent. We haven't yet been informed of her decision. Frequent reports from the battlefield kept the general informed about how the attack was progressing. The book will both entertain and inform. His Catholic upbringing informs all his writing.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The Chinese company has informed the U.S. State Department about its Iran oil business, the people said. Benoit Faucon, WSJ, "China Offers Iran $3 Billion Oil-Field Deal as Europe Halts Iranian Crude Purchases," 17 Jan. 2019 The very same idea informed the composition of the downtown department stores that began appearing in American cities and were fixtures in most urban environments by the turn of the 20th century. Andrew Zaleski, Curbed, "Can Apple stores be public spaces?," 3 Oct. 2018 Dylan Sprouse just informed us that his first kiss was with none other than fellow former Disney star, Selena Gomez! Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "OMG! Dylan Sprouse and Selena Gomez Were Each Other's First Kiss," 27 Sep. 2018 ProPublica and Frontline reported early Thursday morning that Miselis had remained employed at Northrop even after his superiors had been informed of his actions. Aaron Gregg, latimes.com, "Northrop Grumman employee seen on video at violent white supremacist rally no longer employed at company," 7 July 2018 How did that knowledge help inform your decisions for each piece? Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Martyn Lawrence Bullard's Corbett Lighting Collection Is Gorgeously Extravagant," 14 Nov. 2018 Some placating was definitely in order: the same emissaries sent to inform the Hungarian crown of their adorable new family member were also tasked with negotiating Joanna’s way out of certain clauses in her nuptial treaty. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Joanna of Naples," 3 July 2018 Just don’t dismiss them as ill-informed, don’t insult them with condescension. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Paul Daugherty: Stick to sports? No, we need more athletes like Oscar Robertson.," 26 June 2018 Russia’s Foreign Ministry told state media it had informed the U.S. embassy about the arrest. Anatoly Kurmanaev, WSJ, "Russia Detains American on Spying Charge," 31 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inform.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inform

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

History and Etymology for inform

Middle English, from Anglo-French enformer, from Latin informare, from in- + forma form

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Statistics for inform

Last Updated

15 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inform

The first known use of inform was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for inform

inform

verb

English Language Learners Definition of inform

: to give information to (someone)
formal : to be or provide the essential quality of (something) : to be very noticeable in (something)

inform

verb
in·​form | \ in-ˈfȯrm How to pronounce inform (audio) \
informed; informing

Kids Definition of inform

1 : to let a person know something I informed him of the changes.
2 : to give information so as to accuse or cause suspicion He refused to inform on his friends.

Other Words from inform

informer noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on inform

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inform

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inform

Spanish Central: Translation of inform

Nglish: Translation of inform for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inform for Arabic Speakers

Comments on inform

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