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See also: in form and inform.



Etymology 1[edit]

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

Alternative forms[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.
  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.
    • 2013 June 7, Gary Younge, “Hypocrisy lies at heart of Manning prosecution”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 18:
      WikiLeaks did not cause these uprisings but it certainly informed them. The dispatches revealed details of corruption and kleptocracy that many Tunisians suspected, but could not prove, and would cite as they took to the streets.
    • 1697, Virgil, “The Sixth Book of the Æneis”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], →OCLC, page 397, lines 1169-1170:
      Let others better mould the running mass / Of metals, and inform the breathing brass
    • 1858, Matthew Prior, The poetical works of Matthew Prior, Edinburgh: Printed by Ballantyne and Company, page 120, line 401:
      O! long as breath informs this fleeting frame / Ne'er let me pass in silence Dorset's name
  6. (obsolete, intransitive) To make known, wisely and/or knowledgeably.
  7. (obsolete, transitive) To direct, guide.
  8. (archaic, intransitive) To take form; to become visible or manifest; to appear.
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

Latin īnfōrmis


inform (not comparable)

  1. Without regular form; shapeless; ugly; deformed.
    • 1765, Charles Cotton, “Wonders of Peake”, in Poetical Works, page 342:
      Bleak Crags, and naked Hills,
      And the whole Prospect so inform and rude




Borrowed from French informe, from Latin informis.


inform m or n (feminine singular informă, masculine plural informi, feminine and neuter plural informe)

  1. deformed