in·​for·​mant | \ in-ˈfȯr-mənt How to pronounce informant (audio) \

Definition of informant

: a person who gives information: such as
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 Since the extraction of a top Kremlin informant in 2017, the C.I.A.’s knowledge of Russian operations has been diminished. New York Times, "As Understanding of Russian Hacking Grows, So Does Alarm," 2 Jan. 2021 In 2006, a jailhouse informant falsely testified that Hansen had confessed to killing his infant daughter. Mike Hansen And John Kingrey, Star Tribune, "Burrell case exposes need for reform of jailhouse snitch prosecutions," 28 Dec. 2020 In the film, FBI informant William O'Neal (played by Lakeith Stanfield) infiltrates the Illinois Black Panther Party and is tasked with keeping tabs on its charismatic leader, chairman Fred Hampton (Kaluuya). Rachel Yang,, "Judas and the Black Messiah," 23 Dec. 2020 That informant got a plea deal in return for his testimony. CBS News, "Guilty until Proven Innocent," 9 Dec. 2020 Cassie is now in the witness protection program, still working as a flight attendant and a casual informant for the CIA. Rachel Paige,, "The Flight Attendant Book Leaves Plenty Of Runway For Another Season," 8 Dec. 2020 But Assistant Attorney General Sunita Doddamani said the evidence was clear – there are recordings that prove the men left that parking lot and there were both an undercover cop and a confidential informant involved. Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press, "Did twins leave Walmart lot to surveil Whitmer's home for terrorism? Attorneys spar.," 3 Dec. 2020 Zully Palacios Rodriguez, the third plaintiff, was arrested with Balcazar Sanchez after officials used a civilian informant to infiltrate Migrant Justice, according to the lawsuit. Washington Post, "Trump administration settles with Latino farm activists who said they were targeted over political work," 28 Oct. 2020 That could put the informant and the investigation at risk, experts said. Olivia Mitchell, cleveland, "Cleveland police detective’s slaying underscores the risks of undercover investigations," 23 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for informant

Time Traveler

The first known use of informant was in 1641

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Statistics for informant

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Informant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for informant


How to pronounce informant (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of informant

: a person who gives information to the police about secret or criminal activities
technical : a person who gives information about his or her culture or language to a researcher


in·​form·​ant | \ in-ˈfȯr-mənt How to pronounce informant (audio) \

Kids Definition of informant

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


in·​for·​mant | \ in-ˈfȯr-mənt How to pronounce informant (audio) \

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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