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

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 Typically, a person identified or accused of being an informer for the white authorities would be run down and immobilized by an automobile tire around their upper bodies. New York Times, 26 Dec. 2021 In New York, the bureau wrote a false letter identifying one of the leaders of the Communist Party, William Albertson, as an FBI informer. Washington Post, 1 Sep. 2021 In Los Angeles, Black Panther Party leader Geronimo Pratt was falsely convicted of murder in part through the perjured testimony of an FBI informer, even though the FBI knew from wiretaps that Pratt was 350 miles away when the crime happened. Washington Post, 1 Sep. 2021 In March, 1990, the leader of Democratic Awakening, Wolfgang Schnur, was exposed as a Stasi informer, and at an emergency board meeting Rainer Eppelmann, the dissident clergyman, was chosen to replace him. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 11 Aug. 2021 An informer comes to tell Mr. Hayat that people are beginning to wonder about the foreigner who is asking impertinent questions. Bernard-henri Lévy, WSJ, 9 Oct. 2020 Recently, allegations were also made that Gulbinowicz was an informer for the communist-era secret security. Fox News, 10 Nov. 2020 No revolutionary could be sure whether anyone was a true comrade or a police informer. Robert Service, Washington Post, 30 Oct. 2020 The compression of the two heads within the rectangle and the informer’s slice of white teeth conspire to suggest the sinister and the unsavory. Karen Wilkin, WSJ, 26 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for informer

Time Traveler

The first known use of informer was circa 1504

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Dictionary Entries Near informer

informed opinion



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Last Updated

13 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Informer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of informer

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



Legal Definition of informer

More from Merriam-Webster on informer

Nglish: Translation of informer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of informer for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about informer


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