Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To impart information to; make aware of something: We were informed by mail of the change in plans. The nurse informed me that visiting hours were over.
  • transitive v. To acquaint (oneself) with knowledge of a subject.
  • transitive v. To give form or character to; imbue with a quality or an essence: "A society's strength is measured by . . . its ability to inform a future generation with its moral standards” ( Vanity Fair).
  • transitive v. To be a pervasive presence in; animate: "It is this brash, backroom sensibility that informs his work as a novelist” ( Jeff Shear).
  • transitive v. Obsolete To form (the mind or character) by teaching or training.
  • intransitive v. To give or provide information.
  • intransitive v. To disclose confidential or incriminating information to an authority: The defendant informed against the other members of the ring.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To instruct, train (usually in matters of knowledge)
  • v. To communicate knowledge to (an)other(s).
  • v. To impart information or knowledge.
  • v. To act as an informer; denounce.
  • v. To give form or character to; to inspire (with a given quality); to affect, influence (with a pervading principle, idea etc.).
  • v. To make known, wisely and/or knowledgeably.
  • v. To direct, guide.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Without regular form; shapeless; ugly; deformed.
  • transitive v. To give form or share to; to give vital or organizing power to; to give life to; to imbue and actuate with vitality; to animate; to mold; to figure; to fashion.
  • transitive v. To communicate knowledge to; to make known to; to acquaint; to advise; to instruct; to tell; to notify; to enlighten; -- usually followed by of.
  • transitive v. To communicate a knowledge of facts to, by way of accusation; to warn against anybody.
  • transitive v. To take form; to become visible or manifest; to appear.
  • transitive v. To give intelligence or information; to tell.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To impart form or essence to, the object of the verb denoting some kind of matter, and the result being the production of a thing of some definite kind; determine the character or quality of; hence, to animate; actuate.
  • To enlighten; teach; instruct; advise: as, to inform one how he should proceed.
  • To communicate information to; acquaint with facts; apprise.
  • To make known; disclose; tell of or about.
  • To guide; direct.
  • Synonyms To inspire, quicken.
  • 2 and Of inform of: To apprise of, signify, communicate, disclose, reveal, acquaint with, advise of, notify or notify of, teach.
  • To take form or shape; become visible.
  • To give intelligence or information: generally with against or on.
  • Without regular form; shapeless; deformed.

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

  • v. impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to
  • v. act as an informer
  • v. give character or essence to

Etymologies

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

Middle English enfourmen, informen, from Old French enfourmer, from Latin īnfōrmāre : in-, in; see in-2 + fōrmāre, to fashion (from fōrma, form).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English informen, enformen, from Old French enformer, informer ("to train, instruct, inform"), from Latin informare ("to shape, form, train, instruct, educate"), from in- ("into") + forma ("form, shape"), equivalent to in- +‎ form.

Examples

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