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

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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

An NBC News spokesperson said NBC News did not agree or sign a statement that the image would be used for positive coverage, and was never informed that a portion of the royalties would go to the Trump family. NBC News, "News media paid Melania Trump thousands for use of photos in 'positive stories only'," 2 July 2018 Lawmakers each had only a few minutes to ask questions and some seem wildly ill-informed, at best, about how Facebook operated. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Data Sheet—T-Mobile CEO John Legere Emerges From Capitol Hill Grilling Unscathed," 29 June 2018 Some health plans terminated providers from their networks for fraud but didn’t inform the state. Chad Terhune, Washington Post, "Insurers Fall Short In Catching And Reporting Medicaid Fraud, Inspectors Find," 12 July 2018 In a hearing over the matter on Tuesday, the DOJ informed the judge that, out of the 102 cases of younger children in its custody, not all can be currently be reunited with their families. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "Trump Administration May Have Separated Family of U.S. Citizens for Up to a Year," 11 July 2018 How has working in the music business informed the story, if at all? Ray Rogers, Billboard, "Lava Records' CEO Jason Flom on His New Children's Book 'Lulu Is a Rhinoceros' & the Future of Rock 'n' Roll," 10 July 2018 Friday, Parker informed Popovich of his intent to sign with the Hornets. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Parker stunner: Iconic Spurs point guard headed to Charlotte," 6 July 2018 When Howell temporarily escapes the confines of the tiny lighthouse to go fishing, Griffiths informs him that if he's spotted he'll be immediately canned. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Lighthouse': Film Review," 4 July 2018 The transactions, some of which were disclosed in June, sparked criticism because Mr. Ross, as a high-ranking government official, could have access to inside information that would inform his trades. Dave Michaels, WSJ, "Wilbur Ross Sale to Cover Holdings Worth Potentially Tens of Millions," 13 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.

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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

8 Nov 2018

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)

: 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

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Comments on inform

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