Origin of misinform
OTHER WORDS FROM misinformmis·in·form·ant, mis·in·form·er, nounmis·in·form·a·tive, adjectivemis·in·for·ma·tion [mis-in-fer-mey-shuhn], /ˌmɪs ɪn fərˈmeɪ ʃən/, noun
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH misinformdisinformation, misinformation
Words nearby misinform
MISINFORM VS. DISINFORM
What's the difference between misinform and disinform?
To misinform someone is to provide them with false information, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is being done intentionally. Disinform, which is much less commonly used, means to intentionally provide or spread false information with the intent to mislead or deceive.
This distinction can also be seen in the difference between their verb forms, misinformation and disinformation. Misinformation refers to false information, regardless of whether or not it’s intended to mislead or deceive people. In contrast, disinformation refers to false information that’s spread with the specific intent of misleading or deceiving people.
Due to their similarity, the terms are sometimes used in overlapping ways. All disinformation is misinformation, but not all misinformation is disinformation. Disinformation is the more specific of the two because it always implies that the false information is being provided or spread on purpose.
Disinform and disinformation are especially used in the context of large-scale deception, such as a disinformation campaign by a government that targets the population of another country.
On the other hand, a person can intentionally misinform someone, but they could also misinform someone by telling them false information that they believe to be true. The adjective misinformed can be used to describe people who have been the recipient of misinformation.
One way to remember the difference between misinform and disinform is to remember that to misinform can be a mistake, while to disinform is always dishonest.
Here’s an example of misinform and disinform used correctly in a sentence.
Example: The intelligence report concluded that the rumors spread prior to the election were not simply the result of a few random people misinforming others, but rather of a coordinated campaign by a foreign power to disinform the electorate.
Want to learn more? Read the breakdown of the difference between misinformation and disinformation.
Quiz yourself on misinform vs. disinform!
Should misinform or disinform be used in the following sentence?
We can’t publish this information until it’s confirmed—we don’t want to _____ the public.
How to use misinform in a sentence
Now a new poll from Gallup lays bare just how badly misinformed the unvaccinated are on that latter count.How badly unvaccinated Republicans are misinformed, in one stat|Aaron Blake|September 27, 2021|Washington Post
It’s also obvious that the efficient pursuit of a malicious goal—such as deliberately harming or misinforming people—makes the world worse, not better.Why Silicon Valley's Optimization Mindset Sets Us Up for Failure|Rob Reich, Mehran Sahami and Jeremy M. Weinstein|September 10, 2021|Time
In general, he notes that we should think more about how a diversity of online information sources, including search engines, work together in order to inform people or misinform people.Twitter’s efforts to tackle misleading tweets just made them thrive elsewhere|Charlotte Hu|August 25, 2021|Popular-Science
A person having an advanced degree, holding public office or hailing from a community that needs covering doesn’t preclude them from writing stories that are misleading, misinforming or slanderous.Media Briefing: How media companies’ DE&I efforts, office return statuses are affecting hiring|Tim Peterson|June 17, 2021|Digiday
Whitehurst-Payne said she and board president Richard Barrera have said in various interviews that Montgomery Steppe has been misinformed and that the school is doing great.Morning Report: Union Helped Fired CSUM Professor Keep His Job|Voice of San Diego|May 26, 2021|Voice of San Diego
They misinform; they mislead; they corrupt, or tend to corrupt, taste.
"Whaever tell't ye that, didna misinform ye," replied the old woman drily.Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland Volume 21|Alexander Leighton
Elsewhere he saith, that our Eyes misinform us not, but faithfully transmit their resentment to the mind.The Philosophy of Natural Theology|William Jackson
Such copies can kindle no enthusiasm, and they virtually misinform the student.The Life, Letters and Work of Frederic Leighton|Mrs. Russell Barrington
Now, what possible end can be served by books like these, except to misguide and misinform?