Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One that gives information.
  • n. One who informs against others; an informer.
  • n. One who furnishes linguistic or cultural information to a researcher.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One who relays confidential information to someone, especially to the police; an informer.
  • n. One who provides information about their language.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who, or that which, informs, animates, or vivifies.
  • n. One who imparts information or instruction.
  • n. One who offers an accusation; an informer. See Informer.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Giving form; transmuting matter by communicating to it a form; informing.
  • n. One who informs or gives information; an informer.
  • n. Synonyms Informant, Informer. Informant is special, relating only to a given occasion: as, who was your informant? Informer may be special or general, relating to one occasion or, more commonly, to a practice or occupation, as implying a habit of informing, or a dishonorable betrayal of knowledge gained in confidence. It has acquired odious associations.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. someone who sees an event and reports what happened
  • n. a person who supplies information

Etymologies

From Latin informans, participle of informo. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • SEEING the same intelligence would have required asking pefect questions, searching reams of paper to find the hidden qualifiers, such as “the informant is a liar.”

    Think Progress » Sen. Roberts Questions Bush Claim That Congress Saw “Same Intelligence” On Iraq

  • The CIA agents killed by an informant is a pretty good indicator that profiling has its limits.

    Matthew Yglesias » The Great Profiling Debate

  • The involvement of a paid government informant is the only reason four Newburgh, N.Y., men are facing charges they engaged in a plot to blow up a Bronx synagogue and to shoot down military planes last year, defense lawyers said Tuesday.

    Informant Draws Fire

  • Noel ordered that the file be turned over to Harkat's lawyers forthwith, even though a CSIS informant is named in it.

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • "Jericho" (CBS) -- Deaf actress Shoshannah Stern has played Bonnie Richmond on the sci-fi show for two years, and according to my informant is beloved character.

    Make that lucky 13 characters with Jericho's return

  • In other Wire news, this week's episode confirmed that Lester Fremon and Shardene (the much younger stripper turned informant from the 1st season) are still an item.

    March 3rd, 2008

  • We know our informant is real, and we know their next target.

    What is The Muppetrix?

  • Peter Kellner denies these are the right figures, but the site's informant is standing by his claim.

    Oh no it isn't. Oh yes it is

  • BLITZER: The word informant has, sometimes, a sinister connotation, Steve, as you know.

    CNN Transcript Dec 16, 2008

  • The going rate, according to my informant, is between $10 and $20 thousand dollars, depending on the color of the child, and whether the purchaser is a foreigner.

    The servant

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