inform

verb
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

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

On Saturday night, without informing anyone at Google, Sergey Brin showed up at the airport to join the crowds. Nitasha Tiku, WIRED, "Three Years of Misery Inside Google, the Happiest Company in Tech," 13 Aug. 2019 Established in 2014, the association works to connect and inform people who are interested in maintaining and protecting the Bridge Street Neck, an area that extends from the bridge to the old Salem Jail building on St. Peter Street. John Laidler, BostonGlobe.com, "Block party planned for Bridge Street Neck park," 13 Aug. 2019 Giuffre and others have since sued, alleging that federal prosecutors in Florida violated the Crime Victims' Rights Act by not informing or consulting with them about the plea deal with Epstein. Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY, "'He was the center of it': With Jeff Epstein dead, charging co-conspirators likely an uphill battle, experts say," 10 Aug. 2019 For example, your political views probably inform your position on whether the Palestinians who attack Israel are terrorists. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Jihadi John, Domestic Terrorist," 6 Aug. 2019 In the spring of 2018, Rosenstein informed Andrew Lelling, the U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, that his office couldn’t pursue criminal charges against RBS. Jesse Eisinger, ProPublica, "How Trump’s Political Appointees Overruled Tougher Settlements With Big Banks," 4 Aug. 2019 If nothing else, their experience with the programs and policies that affect them should inform their perspective and prompt them to buy in to the values of the community. Rebecca Cokley, Quartz, "25% of Americans are disabled. So why aren’t the Democratic candidates talking about it?," 1 Aug. 2019 In April, the FBI informed UPD that the photo did not present a specific threat. Tribune Content Agency, al, "Ole Miss investigating response to students posing with Emmett Till sign, guns," 30 July 2019 What better way to inform people of the reality of the immigration experience but by listening to the stories of the immigrant? Bianca Sanchez, chicagotribune.com, "Local Latino storytellers and comics share stories of survival and strength in La Sala," 24 July 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.

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

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

inform

verb
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

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

marked by turns or indirection

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!