in·​form·​er in-ˈfȯr-mər How to pronounce informer (audio)
: one that imparts knowledge or news
: 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

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 Far larger than such organizations in many other countries and backed by millions of informers, the FSB penetrates substantial portions of Russian media, business, and civil society. Lucan Ahmad Way, Foreign Affairs, 20 June 2023 Still, as Steinberg narrates in grim but vivid strokes, her phone was tapped, her employers pressured into firing her, her friends and companions imprisoned or turned into informers. Glenn Frankel, Washington Post, 9 June 2023 Today’s young people have become both informers and self-exposers. Christian Schneider, National Review, 29 June 2023 But the organization, riddled with informers, was quickly crushed by the security police. Glenn Frankel, Washington Post, 9 June 2023 In the stories that do unfold, a certain repetition becomes apparent: the suicides, the collaborators and informers, the networks for hiding people. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 May 2023 In order to locate the underground bunkers the Germans made use of dogs, listening devices, and informers. German troops used long-range weapons and flamethrowers to pulverize and torch the buildings, turning it into a blanket of flame and rubble. Camille Fine, USA TODAY, 19 Apr. 2023 Anonymous informers have always been a hallmark of totalitarian regimes. John Ellis,, 6 Apr. 2023 This murky moral philosophy applies to just about everyone Joel and Ellie encounter, from an informer who will snitch on heroes to save his sick brother to the leader of a tribe who will risk the lives of her entire militia to avenge her brother’s death. Eliana Dockterman, Time, 13 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'informer.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1504, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of informer was circa 1504

Dictionary Entries Near informer

Cite this Entry

“Informer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​form·​er in-ˈfȯr-mər How to pronounce informer (audio)
: someone who informs
especially : a person who informs against someone else

Legal Definition



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