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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Informant'

Informant Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    informant n
  1. a person who supplies information [syn: source]
  2. someone who sees an event and reports what happened [syn: witness, witnesser]
Informant Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Informant \In*form"ant\, n. [L. informans, -antis, p. pr. of informare. See Inform, v. t.]
  1. One who, or that which, informs, animates, or vivifies. [Obs.] --Glanvill.
  2. One who imparts information or instruction.
  3. One who offers an accusation; an informer. See Informer. [Obs. or R.] It was the last evidence of the kind; the informant was hanged. --Burke.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Informant'

An informant is a person who provides privileged information about a person or organization to an agency. The term is usually used within the law enforcement world, where they are officially known as confidential or criminal informants (CI), and can often refer pejoratively to the supply of information without the consent of the other parties with the intent of malicious, personal or financial gain.

Informants are commonly found in the world of organized crime. By its very nature, organized crime involves many people who are aware of each others guilt, in a variety of illegal activities. Quite frequently, confidential informants (or criminal informants) will provide information in order to obtain lenient treatment for themselves and provide information, over an extended period of time, in return for money or for police to overlook their own criminal activities. Quite often someone will become an informant following their arrest.

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