inform

verb
in·​form | \ in-ˈfȯrm \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for inform

Synonyms

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Sometimes the screen will also help inform customers about what the car is doing—for example, if the car stops to let a pedestrian cross, the screen will make that clear. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Waymo One, the groundbreaking self-driving taxi service, explained," 5 Dec. 2018 The goal is that the small robotic landers created through the CLPS program will help to inform the technologies needed for bigger robotic landers and ones that can carry crew. Loren Grush, The Verge, "NASA selects nine companies that will vie to put small landers on the Moon," 29 Nov. 2018 While there may not be a rulebook for creating such a sculpture, Libeskind’s geometric and angular style helped inform his blueprints for the project. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "How Architect Daniel Libeskind Redesigned the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Star," 15 Nov. 2018 That turn helped inform the way that the episode centered on Ruth, who, like the queen, had largely been relegated to the sidelines and dismissed up until this point in the season. Karen Han, Vox, "Castle Rock showrunner Sam Shaw explains the series’ best episode yet," 26 Aug. 2018 Mikel, also a historian and a futurist, says White’s work has helped inform organizational efforts to leave even less of a trace on the playa than Burning Man has in the past — ironically making her archaeology more challenging. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "The Vanishing City," 13 Aug. 2018 Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said in an interview with The Washington Post early Thursday morning that after Daniels's performance at Sirens strip club, she was approached by undercover officers informing her that she would be arrested. Author: Samantha Schmidt, Anchorage Daily News, "Stormy Daniels arrested at an Ohio strip club for touching patrons, police say," 12 July 2018 Allenby joined the Chesapeake Conservancy in 2012 when technology companies provided a grant to explore the ways in which technology could help inform conservation. Bill Gourgey, WIRED, "How Artificial Intelligence Could Prevent Natural Disasters," 10 July 2018 On top of that, Grant’s work helps inform officers who take on the roles of the image and video traders themselves, trying to sneakily gather intelligence on whom police can ensnare next. Chris Stokel-walker, The Atlantic, "The Linguist Who Helps Police Catch Child Predators," 10 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about inform

Statistics for inform

Last Updated

4 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inform

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for inform

inform

verb

English Language Learners Definition of inform

: to give information to (someone)

: to be or provide the essential quality of (something) : to be very noticeable in (something)

inform

verb
in·​form | \ in-ˈfȯrm \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up inform? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

someone who never drinks alcohol

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!