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


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

Instead, people with knowledge of local markets price the homes, using various data points, including the Zestimate, to inform their offer price. R.a. Schuetz, Houston Chronicle, "Zillow touts more accurate Zestimate -- but it's still not what it uses to price homes it buys," 1 July 2019 Then state-level drug regulators and law enforcement need to be informed of the policy change — pointedly. STAT, "Stop persecuting doctors for legitimately prescribing opioids for chronic pain," 28 June 2019 Hadžikadić is working on putting together an analytics team that will work with local universities to produce, collect, and purchase data—similar to what polling institutions use— to analyze social processes in the country to inform policies. Alicia Prager, Quartz, "A new party wants to break Bosnia’s political deadlock using computer science," 28 June 2019 Once the plan is official, it will be used to inform zoning decisions and review and update other plans adopted by the city, such as the Central Corridor Development Strategy, station area plans, master plans, area plans and district plans. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "St. Paul’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan heads to Met Council. Here’s what’s in it.," 25 June 2019 So what would an alternative construct look like, a new philosophy of knowledge to inform our politics for these troubled times? R.c., The Economist, "The political nausea when feelings replace facts," 21 June 2019 Dragic had until June 29 to inform the Heat of his opt-in decision. Ira Winderman,, "Goran Dragic opts into final season on contract; Heat wait on Whiteside," 14 June 2019 Some also said the city didn’t do a good enough job of informing the public and collecting feedback regarding the potential plans. Joseph Geha, The Mercury News, "Fremont homeless navigation center study session set for Tuesday," 13 June 2019 In the private sector, companies are increasingly using big data analytics to inform their strategies and drive profits through monetization of customers’ data. Sharon Wekwete, Quartz Africa, "As the continent digitizes rapidly, Africans need a bill of data rights to protect them online," 12 June 2019

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

5 Jul 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



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

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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