verb (used with object)
- to give or impart knowledge of a fact or circumstance to: He informed them of his arrival.
- to supply (oneself) with knowledge of a matter or subject: She informed herself of all the pertinent facts.
- to give evident substance, character, or distinction to; pervade or permeate with manifest effect: A love of nature informed his writing.
- to animate or inspire.
- to train or instruct.
- to make known; disclose.
- to give or impart form to.
verb (used without object)
- to give information; supply knowledge or enlightenment: a magazine that entertains more than it informs.
- inform on, to furnish incriminating evidence about (someone) to an authority, prosecuting officer, etc.: He informed on his accomplices.
- (tr; often foll by of or about) to give information to; tell
- (tr; often foll by of or about) to make conversant (with)
- (intr; often foll by against or on) to give information regarding criminals, as to the police, etc
- to give form to
- to impart some essential or formative characteristic to
- (tr) to animate or inspire
- (tr) obsolete
- to train or educate
- to report
- archaic without shape; unformed
early 14c., “to train or instruct in some specific subject,” from Old French informer “instruct, inform, teach,” and directly from Latin informare “to shape, form,” figuratively “train, instruct, educate,” from in- “into” (see in- (2)) + formare “to form, shape,” from forma “form” (see form (n.)). Varied with enform until c.1600. Sense of “report facts or news” first recorded late 14c. Related: Informed; informing.