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

Synonyms for inform


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 During structure fires, live feed from drones inform command staff on how an incident is progressing, and whether the firefighting response is successful or if adjustments need to be made. Gloria Rebecca Gomez, The Arizona Republic, 22 June 2022 Every type of coverage is unique, ranging in both price and complexity, so truly knowing your buyer will inform these technology decisions. Michael Jackowski, Forbes, 21 June 2022 Let your imagination inform your fashion, from DIY to high couture. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 14 June 2022 How did that experience inform your writing process? Alessandro Corona, The Enquirer, 13 June 2022 One thing is for certain, the Indian tech governance and regulatory policy landscape is going to be an evolving one, as global best practices also inform key decisions to be taken by policymakers. Ritwija Darbari, Quartz, 4 Mar. 2022 Just don’t forget that there’s nothing wrong with using big innovations to inform and refresh your everyday practices. Serenity Gibbons, Forbes, 9 June 2022 The Post quoted Pushaw’s attorney as saying that the U.S. Department of Justice had contacted Pushaw to inform her of a requirement to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Orlando Sentinel, 9 June 2022 Burkett said Fountain called him over the weekend to inform him of the decision. Ben Thomas |, al, 6 June 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About inform

Time Traveler for inform

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near inform

in for it



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for inform

Last Updated

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Inform.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for inform


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

More from Merriam-Webster on inform

Nglish: Translation of inform for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inform for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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