Meaning of inform


To inform is to tell someone news, pass on wisdom, leak gossip, or give instruction. You’ve been informed that you won the raffle at the county fair. What are you going to do with all that cheese?

The Latin verb infōrmāre means “to form or shape.” The idea of passing on knowledge came about in the 14th Century, with the meaning of “teaching or instructing” coming later. Thomas Jefferson, who believed democracy to be impossible without informed citizens, said, “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”

Definitions of inform
  1. verb

    impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to

    informed him of his rights”
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    wise up

    cause someone to become aware of something
    instruct, learn, teach

    impart skills or knowledge to
    apprise, apprize, instruct

    make aware of

    introduce an idea or attitude into the mind of


    notify, usually in advance
    fill in

    supply with information on a specific topic

    bring up to date; supply with recent information
    misinform, mislead

    give false or misleading information to
    downplay, minimise, minimize, understate

    represent as less significant or important
    betray, denounce, give away, grass, rat, shop, snitch, stag, tell on

    give away information about somebody

    free from deception or illusion

    notify of danger, potential harm, or risk
    advise, apprise, apprize, give notice, notify, send word

    inform (somebody) of something
    acquaint, familiarise, familiarize

    make familiar or conversant with
    cue, prompt, remind

    assist (somebody acting or reciting) by suggesting the next words of something forgotten or imperfectly learned

    tell voluntarily
    acquaint, introduce, present

    cause to come to know personally

    express with regret
    designate, indicate, point, show

    indicate a place, direction, person, or thing; either spatially or figuratively

    to state or express briefly
    indicate, suggest

    suggest the necessity of an intervention; in medicine

    inform or spy (for the police)
    explain, explicate

    make plain and comprehensible

    let something be known
    narrate, recite, recount, tell

    narrate or give a detailed account of

    provide commentary for a film, for example
    account, describe, report

    to give an account or representation of in words

    make known to the authorities
    cover, report

    be responsible for reporting the details of, as in journalism
    announce, denote

    make known; make an announcement

    free somebody (from an erroneous belief)
    point out, remonstrate

    present and urge reasons in opposition
    bear witness, evidence, prove, show, testify

    provide evidence for
    develop, educate, prepare, train

    create by training and teaching

    teach doctrines to; teach uncritically

    teach by repetition

    give directions to; point somebody into a certain direction
    digress, divagate, stray, wander

    lose clarity or turn aside especially from the main subject of attention or course of argument in writing, thinking, or speaking
    catechise, catechize

    give religious instructions to
    reinforce, reward

    strengthen and support with rewards

    teach without challenging the students
    attest, certify, demonstrate, evidence, manifest

    provide evidence for; stand as proof of; show by one’s behavior, attitude, or external attributes

    point out or draw attention to in protest or remonstrance

    introduce or initiate

    serve as a teacher or trusted counselor

    be a tutor to someone; give individual instruction

    cause to disbelieve; teach someone the contrary of what he or she had learned earlier

    cause to unlearn

    instruct someone in the fundamentals of a subject
    lecture, talk

    deliver a lecture or talk

    give essential information to someone
    coach, train

    teach and supervise (someone); act as a trainer or coach (to), as in sports

    tell an untruth; pretend with intent to deceive
    beat around the bush, equivocate, palter, prevaricate, tergiversate

    be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information
    amplify, exaggerate, hyperbolise, hyperbolize, magnify, overdraw, overstate

    to enlarge beyond bounds or the truth
    trivialise, trivialize

    make trivial or insignificant

    downplay one’s ability (towards others) in a game in order to deceive, as in gambling

    announce the termination of, as of treaties
    betray, deceive, lead astray

    cause someone to believe an untruth
    forewarn, previse

    warn in advance or beforehand; give an early warning
    admonish, caution, monish

    warn strongly; put on guard

    to utter intentions of injury or punishment against:”He threatened me when I tried to call the police”
    alarm, alert

    warn or arouse to a sense of danger or call to a state of preparedness

    familiarize (someone) with new surroundings or circumstances

    familiarize through thorough study or experience

    familiarize anew
    get into

    familiarize oneself thoroughly with
    re-introduce, reintroduce

    introduce anew

    formally present a debutante, a representative of a country, etc.

    announce for a score; of cards in a card game
    bespeak, betoken, indicate, point, signal

    be a signal for or a symptom of
    read, record, register, show

    indicate a certain reading; of gauges and instruments

    indicate the presence of (game) by standing and pointing with the muzzle

    indicate the fingering for the playing of musical scores for keyboard instruments
    call attention, point out, signalise, signalize

    point out carefully and clearly
    break, bring out, disclose, discover, divulge, expose, give away, let on, let out, reveal, unwrap

    make known to the public information that was previously known only to a few people or that was meant to be kept a secret
    sell out

    give information that compromises others
    interpret, rede

    give an interpretation or explanation to
    account for

    give reasons for

    explain with reference to nature
    clarify, clear up, elucidate

    make clear and (more) comprehensible
    spill, talk

    reveal information

    give an account of

    tell spontaneously

    tell or spin a yarn
    rhapsodise, rhapsodize

    recite a rhapsody
    evidence, tell

    give evidence
    air, bare, publicise, publicize

    make public
    ingeminate, iterate, reiterate, repeat, restate, retell

    to say, state, or perform again

    announce one’s presence

    announce as the result of an investigation or experience or finding
    propagandise, propagandize

    subject to propaganda
    announce, annunciate, foretell, harbinger, herald

    foreshadow or presage
    blazon out, cry

    proclaim or announce in public
    trump, trump out

    proclaim or announce with or as if with a fanfare
    blare out, blat out

    announce loudly
    call out

    call out loudly, as of names or numbers
    advertise, advertize, publicise, publicize

    call attention to
    edify, enlighten

    make understand

    publicize with, or as if with, a poster

    constitute reasonable evidence for
    abduce, adduce, cite

    advance evidence for

    explain or interpret something

    make known with a word or signal
    bring out, introduce

    bring before the public for the first time, as of an actor, song, etc.

    indicate a decision in regard to

    be sorry; used to introduce an unpleasant statement

    manifest or bring back

    announce by means of a sound
    give, impart, leave, pass on

    transmit (knowledge or skills)

    establish a conditioned response
    type of:

    communicate, intercommunicate

    transmit thoughts or feelings

  2. verb

    act as an informer

    “She had
    informed on her own parents for years”
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    evidence, tell

    give evidence

  3. verb

    give character or essence to

    “The principles that
    inform modern teaching”
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    type of:

    alter, change, modify

    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

Word Family

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