in·​for·​mant | \in-ˈfȯr-mənt \

Definition of informant 

: a person who gives information: such as

a : informer

b : one who supplies cultural or linguistic data in response to interrogation by an investigator

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Examples of informant in a Sentence

The police were alerted to the plot by a paid informant. We learned the language with the help of a native informant.

Recent Examples on the Web

Trump’s supporters in Congress have accused Strzok and Page of steering the Clinton probe away from criminal charges and pushing the FBI to aggressively investigate Trump advisers through electronic surveillance and confidential informants., "FBI agent Strzok feuds with GOP critics at hearing," 13 July 2018 Earlier in June, the Justice Department held a classified briefing for lawmakers about the FBI’s use of a confidential informant in the Russia investigation. Sadie Gurman, WSJ, "Justice Department Tells Devin Nunes It Complied With His Requests on FBI Probe," 25 June 2018 He could be viewed as a confidential FBI informant who was outed and in the press. Fox News, "Roger Stone: My House testimony was entirely truthful," 9 June 2018 According to the social media post, the FBI and Kane County state’s attorney’s office assisted Aurora police with the investigation where authorities made undercover narcotics and weapons purchases, and used confidential informants. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "14 people charged with 71 felonies in Aurora after yearlong drug, gun investigation — 3 still at large," 2 June 2018 In the end, that confidential informant also recanted his story. Maya Dukmasova, Chicago Reader, "Hundreds of Illinois prisoners languish behind bars waiting for Dorothy Brown to do her job," 24 May 2018 President Trump has also claimed the feds spied on his campaign with an informant. Rob Tornoe,, "Ex-Fox News analyst rips Sean Hannity and calls the network a 'destructive propaganda machine'," 7 June 2018 After this touching scene, Clinton and Patterson ask readers to take an even bigger leap — the president attends a baseball game alone to meet with an unvetted informant who has information about the coming cyberattack. Nicolle Wallace, New York Times, "Bill Clinton and James Patterson Have Written a Thriller. It’s Good.," 5 June 2018 Page is one of the three former Trump aides who reportedly met with the FBI informant. Chris Megerian,, "Trump says he will demand Justice Department investigate the Russia probe," 21 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'informant.' 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 informant

1641, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for informant

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for informant

The first known use of informant was in 1641

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More Definitions for informant



English Language Learners Definition of informant

: a person who gives information to the police about secret or criminal activities

: a person who gives information about his or her culture or language to a researcher


in·​form·​ant | \in-ˈfȯr-mənt \

Kids Definition of informant

: a person who gives information especially to accuse or cause suspicion about someone


in·​for·​mant | \in-ˈfȯr-mənt \

Legal Definition of informant 

: one who informs against another specifically : one who makes a practice especially for money of informing police of others' criminal activities

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Comments on informant

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full of whispering sounds

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