[ in-fawrm ]
See synonyms for: informinformedinforminginforms on

verb (used with object)
  1. to give or impart knowledge of a fact or circumstance to: He informed them of his arrival.

  2. to supply (oneself) with knowledge of a matter or subject: She informed herself of all the pertinent facts.

  1. to give evident substance, character, or distinction to; pervade or permeate with manifest effect: A love of nature informed his writing.

  2. to animate or inspire.

  3. Obsolete.

    • to train or instruct.

    • to make known; disclose.

    • to give or impart form to.

verb (used without object)
  1. to give information; supply knowledge or enlightenment: a magazine that entertains more than it informs.

Verb Phrases
  1. inform on, to furnish incriminating evidence about (someone) to an authority, prosecuting officer, etc.: He informed on his accomplices.

Origin of inform

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English enfo(u)rmen, informen, from Old French enfo(u)rmer, from Latin infōrmāre “to form, shape,” equivalent to in- in-2 + fōrmāre “to form

Other words for inform

Other words from inform

  • in·form·a·ble, adjective
  • in·form·ing·ly, adverb
  • half-in·form·ing, adjective
  • half-in·form·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·in·form·ing, adjective

Words Nearby inform

Other definitions for inform (2 of 2)

[ in-fawrm ]

  1. without form; formless.

Origin of inform

First recorded in 1545–55; from Latin informis “formless, deformed,” equivalent to in- in-3 + -formis -form Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use inform in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for inform (1 of 2)


/ (ɪnˈfɔːm) /

  1. (tr; often foll by of or about) to give information to; tell

  2. (tr; often foll by of or about) to make conversant (with)

  1. (intr; often foll by against or on) to give information regarding criminals, as to the police, etc

  2. to give form to

  3. to impart some essential or formative characteristic to

  4. (tr) to animate or inspire

  5. (tr) obsolete

    • to train or educate

    • to report

Origin of inform

C14: from Latin informāre to give form to, describe, from formāre to form

Derived forms of inform

  • informable, adjective
  • informedly (ɪnˈfɔːmɪdlɪ), adverb
  • informingly, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for inform (2 of 2)


/ (ɪnˈfɔːm) /

  1. archaic without shape; unformed

Origin of inform

C16: from Latin informis from in- 1 + forma shape

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012