inform

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See also: in form

English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

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.

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

inform (third-person singular simple present informs, present participle informing, simple past and past participle informed)

  1. (archaic, transitive) To instruct, train (usually in matters of knowledge).
  2. (transitive) To communicate knowledge to.
    • Spenser
      For he would learn their business secretly, / And then inform his master hastily.
    • Shakespeare
      I am informed thoroughly of the cause.
  3. (intransitive) To impart information or knowledge.
  4. To act as an informer; denounce.
  5. (transitive) To give form or character to; to inspire (with a given quality); to affect, influence (with a pervading principle, idea etc.).
    His sense of religion informs everything he writes.
    • Dryden
      Let others better mould the running mass / Of metals, and inform the breathing brass.
    • Prior
      Breath informs this fleeting frame.
  6. (obsolete, intransitive) To make known, wisely and/or knowledgeably.
  7. (obsolete, transitive) To direct, guide.
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
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Etymology 2[edit]

Latin informis

Adjective[edit]

inform (not comparable)

  1. Without regular form; shapeless; ugly; deformed.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Cotton to this entry?)

Anagrams[edit]