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How to pronounce informant (audio)


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Dictionary definition of informant

A person who provides information to law enforcement or other authorities about criminal or illegal activities.
"The informant's identity was kept confidential for their safety."

Detailed meaning of informant

Informants can be motivated by various factors such as money, leniency, or revenge. They can be individuals who were directly involved in criminal activity or people who have knowledge of criminal activity, such as neighbors, friends, or associates of the suspects. Informants can provide information about various types of criminal activities, including drug trafficking, organized crime, terrorism, and white-collar crime.

The role of informants in law enforcement is controversial, as some argue that they are necessary in order to gather information and bring criminals to justice, while others argue that they can be unreliable and may use their position to settle personal grudges or to gain an unfair advantage in their own criminal cases. Informants are generally protected by anonymity and may be given special privileges in exchange for their cooperation. However, many jurisdictions have laws and protocols to protect the rights and safety of informants.

Example sentences containing informant

1. The detective relied on a confidential informant to gather information about the criminal organization.
2. The journalist's article was based on interviews with several key informants.
3. The informant's tip led the police to uncover a major drug trafficking operation.
4. The spy's mission was to recruit local informants to gather intelligence.
5. The informant provided crucial details about the planned terrorist attack.
6. The witness protection program ensured the safety of the informant.

History and etymology of informant

The noun 'informant' has an etymology that can be traced back to Latin. It is derived from the Latin word 'informans,' which is the present participle of 'informare,' meaning 'to inform' or 'to give shape to.' In Latin, 'informare' described the act of providing information or shaping something. 'Informant' entered the English language in the 18th century and is used to describe a person who provides information to law enforcement or other authorities about criminal or illegal activities. Its etymology underscores the role of such individuals in shaping the knowledge and understanding of authorities by providing crucial information, as implied by its Latin origins in 'informans' and 'informare,' highlighting the act of informing and shaping the course of investigations or actions.

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Further usage examples of informant

1. The undercover agent posed as an informant to gain the trust of the criminal syndicate.
2. The informant's identity was kept secret to prevent retaliation.
3. The informant's testimony played a vital role in securing the conviction of the crime boss.
4. The journalist faced backlash for revealing the identity of a confidential informant.
5. The informant received a reward for providing valuable information to the authorities.
6. The informant's knowledge of the black market helped the police crack down on illegal activities.
7. The intelligence agency recruited informants from various sources to gather intel.
8. The informant's credibility was questioned due to conflicting statements.
9. The police relied on an informant to gather information about the drug trafficking ring.
10. The informant's testimony was crucial in securing a conviction.
11. The journalist's article was based on information provided by an anonymous informant.
12. The government agency uses informants to gather intelligence on terrorist activities.
13. The defense attorney cross-examined the informant to challenge their credibility.
14. The informant provided a tip that led to the arrest of a wanted fugitive.
15. The undercover agent posed as an informant to gain the trust of the criminal organization.
16. The informant was paid for their cooperation in the investigation.
17. The informant was threatened with retaliation if they revealed the information.
18. The informant's role in the operation was kept secret to avoid jeopardizing the mission.
19. The informant's reliability was questioned due to their history of criminal activity.



whistleblower, concealer, withholder, secret-keeper


Suffix -ant, Dominance and Dissent, Rigor and Rebellion, Criminal Justice and Penalties, Crime and Lawlessness

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