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 Clark then called Rosen on Sunday to inform him that the president intended to remove Rosen from the post, with Clark replacing him. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "DOJ watchdog launches investigation into any 'improper' effort to 'alter' 2020 election results," 25 Jan. 2021 Mulcahy said a letter would be sent to Orangewood residents to inform them of the time and date of the town hall meeting. cleveland, "Orange council seeks input from residents on proposed extension of trails," 14 Jan. 2021 Ivey's office said Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Instillations Bob Moriarity called Ivey to inform her of Secretary Barbara Barrett's decision over where the headquarters would be. Kim Chandler, Star Tribune, "US Space Command site to be located in Huntsville, Alabama," 13 Jan. 2021 Contact banks, brokerages, lenders and credit card companies to inform them of the death and close accounts or transfer them to your name alone. Liz Weston, oregonlive, "Liz Weston: Financial steps after spouse dies include holding onto assets, even when facing family pressure," 9 Jan. 2021 Ossoff’s team has made over 100,000 calls to AAPI voters since the start of the runoff campaign and has staffed up on Mandarin-speaking organizers who communicate with voters to inform them of deadlines and candidates up and down the ballot. Anna Purna Kambhampaty, Time, "Asian American and Pacific Islanders’ Record Turnout Helped Flip Georgia Blue. Now They Could Shape the Future of the Senate," 24 Dec. 2020 The non-profit works with people facing eviction to inform them of their rights and the resources available to them., "Michigan renters face eviction despite pandemic safety net: 'I don't want to be homeless'," 24 Dec. 2020 The next day, Durga contacted Lynda to inform her of her plans to be a donor. Kelsie Smith, CNN, "A Minnesota elementary school teacher donates kidney to her school's custodian," 5 Dec. 2020 Judge Garaufis, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton, also said the government must find a way to contact all immigrants who are eligible for the program to inform them of the change. New York Times, "Judge Orders Government to Fully Reinstate DACA Program," 4 Dec. 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

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inform.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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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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Comments on inform

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