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 The social experiments of Stanley Milgram, which investigated our willingness to inflict pain on strangers, inform her 1950s books. Chris Hewitt,, "8 reasons we’re still reading mystery writer Agatha Christie after 100 years," 21 Oct. 2020 Under current law, Texas must inform voters that their ballot was rejected within 10 days after the election. TheWeek, "Texas doesn't need to tell mail-in voters their ballot was rejected until after the election, appellate court rules," 20 Oct. 2020 Data from such a demonstration could inform Covid care and pave the way for future payment reforms. Mark Mcclellan, WSJ, "Where Do I Go to Get My Covid Antibody Cocktail?," 18 Oct. 2020 The social experiments of Stanley Milgram, which investigated our willingness to inflict pain on strangers, inform her 1950s books. Chris Hewitt, Star Tribune, "8 reasons we're still reading mystery writer Agatha Christie after 100 years," 16 Oct. 2020 That distinction would likely inform how heavy of a workload they’re given against Louisville. • Backup rover Paul Moala, a local product from Penn High School, suffered a torn Achilles tendon against Florida State, Kelly said. Tyler James, The Indianapolis Star, "Notebook: Brian Kelly demanding better from Notre Dame's defense against Louisville," 13 Oct. 2020 Recognizing the importance the CCP places on restricting religious practice should inform the responses of the U.S. government and the international community. Emilie Kao, National Review, "Religious Persecution in China Must Be Called Out," 11 Oct. 2020 And to inform exposes your own feelings about art and life. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Jazz master Charles McPherson releases new album, launches record label and preps for debut drive-in concert," 10 Oct. 2020 Memes that were once niche now inform how huge numbers of people react to or experience major news events. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, "Twitter Is Trolling Trump With Spooky Hexes," 7 Oct. 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

24 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inform.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 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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Comments on inform

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