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


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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 Legal Aid put on a presentation for Olmos Club residents to inform them of their rights, but Trejo said there wasn’t a good turn out. Patrick Danner,, "San Antonio apartment owner agrees to pay tenant who was locked out during pandemic," 23 June 2020 Healthcare providers are required to inform the Maricopa County Health Department of positive COVID-19 results, and the department works to contact members of the public who interacted with the employee. Sasha Hupka, The Arizona Republic, "Some Chandler city employees tested positive for COVID-19. Here's how the city handles cases," 23 June 2020 There is no requirement from the state or federal government for businesses to inform customers for an employee contracts COVID-19. Katherine Fitzgerald, azcentral, "7 questions answered about dining at Arizona restaurants during coronavirus," 20 June 2020 But European researchers dispute that the U.S. government's reliance on scientists to inform decision-making comes anywhere near the degree to which many European policymakers have relied on researchers. Author: Rick Noack, Anchorage Daily News, "‘It really does feel like the US has given up’: Experts in other nations alarmed by US coronavirus numbers," 19 June 2020 The results of this study could influence return-to-work programs, bring broader testing to underserved populations and inform the NBA’s testing strategy for the remainder of the 2019-20 season and beyond. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "NBA safety protocols include interesting rules: No licking hands on court; ping-pong limited to two players," 17 June 2020 But if one's primary intention is not necessarily to accurately inform or make a good faith argument, but instead to prey on preexisting political narratives to score cheap clicks and engagement on social media, the rules of the game change. Oliver Darcy, CNN, "Analysis: Current media environment presents twisted incentives for publishers," 17 June 2020 Visitors are asked to avoid flash photography and making loud noises, as well inform others not to approach the sea turtles. Shacamree Gowdy, Houston Chronicle, "Please refrain from taking selfies with the sea turtles. It's illegal, TIRN says," 17 June 2020 On June 19, 1865, Major Gen. Gordon Granger came to Galveston, Texas, to inform a reluctant community that President Abraham Lincoln two years earlier had freed the slaves and to press locals to comply with his directive. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "‘HellaJuneteenth’ is behind the efforts to push companies to recognize Juneteenth," 15 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for inform

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for inform

Last Updated

26 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inform.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for inform


How to pronounce inform (audio)

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)


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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inform

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inform

Spanish Central: Translation of inform

Nglish: Translation of inform for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inform for Arabic Speakers

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