Definition of INFORMER


An informer is a noun that refers to someone who provides information, typically to authorities or others in positions of power, often regarding illicit or illegal activities. Here are several key aspects associated with informers:

Provider of Information: An informer is someone who willingly or unwillingly shares information with relevant parties, such as law enforcement agencies, government officials, or other interested parties. This information may be about criminal activities, suspicious behavior, or other matters of interest.

Confidentiality and Anonymity: In some cases, informers may choose to remain anonymous or request confidentiality to protect their identity and safety. Confidential informants often play a crucial role in law enforcement investigations by providing valuable insider information while minimizing their exposure to potential risks or retaliation.

Motivations and Incentives: The motivations behind informing can vary widely and may include a desire for personal gain, such as financial rewards, leniency in legal proceedings, or immunity from prosecution. Additionally, informers may act out of a sense of duty, moral obligation, or concern for public safety.

Ethical Considerations: The role of informers raises ethical questions regarding issues such as trustworthiness, reliability, and potential conflicts of interest. Law enforcement agencies and other organizations often establish guidelines and protocols to ensure that informers are used ethically and responsibly while balancing the need for information with respect for individual rights and privacy.

Informers play a complex and sometimes controversial role in society, serving as sources of valuable information for law enforcement agencies and other entities. While their contributions can be instrumental in preventing crime and maintaining public safety, the use of informers also raises important ethical considerations regarding transparency, accountability, and the protection of individual rights.

INFORMER in a sentence

  • The police relied on the informer to provide information about criminal activities in the neighborhood.
  • The informer agreed to testify in exchange for protection from retribution.
  • The journalist’s anonymous informer provided valuable insights into government corruption.
  • The mafia boss suspected there was a traitor among his ranks, an informer leaking information to the authorities.
  • The whistleblower acted as an informer, exposing corporate wrongdoing to the public.
  • The informer remained anonymous, fearing retaliation from the criminal organization.
  • The intelligence agency recruited local informers to gather information on terrorist activities.
  • The informer played a pivotal role in unraveling the conspiracy, leading to several arrests.

Origin of INFORMER 

The term informer refers to an individual who provides information, typically to authorities or others in positions of power, often regarding illicit activities, wrongdoing, or sensitive matters. Delving into its etymology and usage unveils its significance in discussions surrounding law enforcement, intelligence gathering, and social dynamics.

  • Roots in Latin: Informer originates from the Latin word “informare,” meaning “to give form or shape to,” which evolved to include the sense of providing information.
  • Evolution of Meaning: Originally neutral in meaning, informer has come to be associated with individuals who disclose information, particularly about criminal activities, to authorities or other parties.

In conclusion, informer serves as a descriptor for someone who provides information, often regarding illegal or unethical behavior, to relevant parties. Its etymology underscores its association with the act of shaping or giving form to information, while its usage highlights its role in law enforcement, intelligence gathering, and maintaining social order. Understanding the concept of an informer prompts consideration of the ethical dimensions of information disclosure, confidentiality, and the balance between individual rights and societal interests.


  • Informant
  • Whistleblower
  • Tipster
  • Source
  • Cooperator
  • Witness
  • Criminal informant
  • Deep throat (colloquial)


  • Silent observer
  • Uninvolved
  • Disengaged
  • Bystander
  • Uninformed
  • Noncooperator
  • Nonparticipant
  • Cooperator


  • Covert operative
  • Undercover agent
  • Whistleblower
  • Tipster
  • Criminal witness
  • Confidential informant
  • Insider
  • Infiltrator

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