in·​form·​er | \ in-ˈfȯr-mər How to pronounce informer (audio) \

Definition of informer

1 : one that imparts knowledge or news
2 : one that informs against another specifically : one who makes a practice especially for a financial reward of informing against others for violations of penal laws

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Examples of informer in a Sentence

the informer who told the police about that conspiracy has angered a lot of dangerous people
Recent Examples on the Web Was there anything, he was asked in 2007, worse than being an informer? Sam Roberts, New York Times, "Nicky Barnes, ‘Mr. Untouchable’ of Heroin Dealers, Is Dead at 78," 8 June 2019 The terrifying teachers in her all-girl high school encourage informers and expound on the evils of overeating and unsanctioned pregnancy. Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, "Review: In ‘Ava,’ a Tehran Teenager Fights Oppression," 26 Apr. 2018 There were contacts going on by people identified as informers and informants, people who provided information began much, much earlier than July 31st. Fox News, "Is it time for Mueller to wrap up his investigation?," 3 June 2018 Some were detained far from combat, based on information gleaned from informers and prison interrogations. New York Times, "A 10-Minute Trial, a Death Sentence: Iraqi Justice for ISIS Suspects," 17 Apr. 2018 The Commission finds that those who opposed Ms. Madikizela-Mandela and the Mandela United Football Club, or dissented from them, were branded as informers and killed. Stephanie Hanes, Washington Post, "Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, South Africa’s ‘Mother of the Nation,’ dies at 81," 2 Apr. 2018 The payment of $104 million to UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld, apparently the largest ever, has inspired other informers. Laura Saunders, WSJ, "The IRS Is Still Coming for You, Offshore Tax Cheats," 14 Sep. 2018 Permits mean higher-paying jobs in Israel, but suspected informers are shunned or attacked in their communities. Washington Post, "In Israel’s permits, Palestinians see tool to control lives," 1 May 2018 These defendants are here on the strength of testimony given by a secret informer, neighbors or their own families. Hamza Hendawi, Washington Post, "A neighbor’s word can bring death sentence in Iraq IS trials," 9 July 2018

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

circa 1504, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for informer

Time Traveler for informer

The first known use of informer was circa 1504

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How to pronounce informer (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of informer

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



Legal Definition of informer

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Comments on informer

What made you want to look up informer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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