inform

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for inform

Synonyms

fink, grass (on) [British slang], rat (on), sing, snitch, split (on) [British], squeak, squeal, talk, tell (on)

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Back in March, Aquaria took a break from shooting the campaign to chat about how her Drag Race success informs the palette, what inspired the shade selection, and her most important beauty secret. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Aquaria Reveals the Story Behind Her New Eye Shadow Palette With Nyx Professional Makeup," 20 May 2019 Fashion journalism needs to dig deeper and spend more time and effort researching, interviewing and writing compelling stories that inform, engage and delight consumers. Jessica Andrews, Teen Vogue, "Rachael Wang On Fair Trade’s First-Ever Lookbook, Activism and Sustainability," 29 Apr. 2019 But there is no federal requirement that used car sellers have the cars repaired or inform buyers of any unrepaired recall problems. Tom Krisher, The Seattle Times, "Takata air bags claim another life after Arizona crash," 30 Mar. 2019 Risk and reward, like Scylla and Charybdis, are the twin sea monsters who inform all decision making. Neil Senturia, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Why don't we heed risk warnings?," 9 July 2018 By informing future excavations, contemporary archaeology can genuinely be — as Mikel suggests — an archaeology of the future. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "The Vanishing City," 13 Aug. 2018 And across Curbed’s network of city sites, Play Week will seek to inform and delight. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "It’s Play Week on Curbed," 16 July 2018 So my experience is very much informed by being a black, first gen, cisgender woman. Josephine Yurcaba, Teen Vogue, "The Case for Public Sex Classes," 29 Mar. 2019 During their introductions, Kelly informed concert attendees that most video participants lip-sync songs, but not these guys. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "Kelly Clarkson Sang With Police Officers at Her Concert and the Response Was So Powerful," 23 Feb. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about inform

Statistics for inform

Last Updated

24 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inform

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for inform

inform

verb

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)

inform

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on inform

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inform

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inform

Spanish Central: Translation of inform

Nglish: Translation of inform for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inform for Arabic Speakers

Comments on inform

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!