in·​form | \ in-ˈfȯrm How to pronounce inform (audio) \
informed; informing; informs

Definition of inform

transitive verb

1 : to communicate knowledge to inform a prisoner of his rights
2a : to give character or essence to the principles which inform modern teaching
b : to be the characteristic quality of : animate the compassion that informs her work
3 obsolete : to give material form to
4 obsolete : guide, direct
5 obsolete : to make known

intransitive verb

1 : to give information (as of another's wrongdoing) to an authority informed on a member of his own gang
2 : to impart information or knowledge

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Synonyms for inform


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Choose the Right Synonym for inform

inform, acquaint, apprise, notify mean to make one aware of something. inform implies the imparting of knowledge especially of facts or occurrences. informed us of the crisis acquaint lays stress on introducing to or familiarizing with. acquaint yourself with the keyboard apprise implies communicating something of special interest or importance. keep us apprised of the situation notify implies sending notice of something requiring attention or demanding action. notified the witness when to appear

Examples of inform in a Sentence

The book will entertain and inform you. The arresting officer failed to inform the suspect of his rights. He failed to inform the suspect that he had the right to remain silent. We haven't yet been informed of her decision. Frequent reports from the battlefield kept the general informed about how the attack was progressing. The book will both entertain and inform. His Catholic upbringing informs all his writing.
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Recent Examples on the Web This week, city employees are mailing postcards to customers who are behind on their water bills to inform them about the program. Robin Goist, cleveland, "Akron to collect donations to help residents pay water, sewer bills," 30 June 2020 On April 21, over a sterile one-way video call, a representative from Pro Unlimited read from what appeared to be a script to inform me and hundreds of others that our contracts would be cut short, effective the following week. Anna Furman, Wired, "Airbnb Quietly Fired Hundreds of Contract Workers. I'm One of Them," 23 June 2020 Created in collaboration with artist Loveis Wise, music producer Elijah Jamal and narrator LeVar Burton, the Doodle seeks to educate and inform a swath of people who may not have previously been familiar with this aspect of black life, Burton said. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "Google Doodle commemorates the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, set to 'Lift Every Voice and Sing'," 19 June 2020 Use your assessment tools to inform yourself about the racial climate of your organization. Noelle Leveaux, Dallas News, "To those in power: Black Lives Matter can’t be just another marketing message," 16 June 2020 Lipscomb helped to inform the organizations on the state’s techniques to combat COVID-19 in the Black community, which account for 40% of coronavirus deaths in Michigan. Taylor Crumpton,, "Black Pride Events Save LGBTQ+ Lives. Now What?," 15 June 2020 On June 19, 1865, about two months after the Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Va., Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform slaves of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended. New York Times,, "So you want to learn about Juneteenth?," 13 June 2020 That desire to browse helped inform the library’s decision to ease back into being open, says HMCPL executive director Laurel Best. Matt Wake |, al, "How local libraries turned the page during a pandemic," 9 June 2020 The Tax Policy Center, whose research helped inform this article, estimates that about two-thirds of the people who donated more than 60% of their AGI in past years had incomes of less than $100,000. Allan Sloan, ProPublica, "The CARES Act Sent You a $1,200 Check but Gave Millionaires and Billionaires Far More," 8 June 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

History and Etymology for inform

Middle English, from Anglo-French enformer, from Latin informare, from in- + forma form

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Time Traveler for inform

Time Traveler

The first known use of inform was in the 14th century

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Statistics for inform

Last Updated

8 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inform.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for inform


How to pronounce inform (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of inform

: to give information to (someone)
formal : to be or provide the essential quality of (something) : to be very noticeable in (something)


in·​form | \ in-ˈfȯrm How to pronounce inform (audio) \
informed; informing

Kids Definition of inform

1 : to let a person know something I informed him of the changes.
2 : to give information so as to accuse or cause suspicion He refused to inform on his friends.

Other Words from inform

informer noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on inform

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inform

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inform

Spanish Central: Translation of inform

Nglish: Translation of inform for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inform for Arabic Speakers

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