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information, n.


α. ME infformacion, ME infformacyoun, ME informacyoun, ME informatioune, ME jnformacion, ME ynformacion, ME 16 informacioun, ME–15 informacyon, ME–16 informacion, ME– information, 16 infformation; Sc. pre-17 informacion, pre-17 informacioun, pre-17 informacioune, pre-17 informatione, pre-17 informatioun, pre-17 informatioune, pre-17 informatyoun, pre-17 17– information.

β. ME enfarmacion, ME enformacioun, ME enfromacion, ME–15 enformacion, ME–15 enformacyon, ME–16 enformation, 15 enformacione.

(Show Less)
Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: Of multiple origins. Partly a borrowing from French. Partly a borrowing from Latin. Etymons: French enformacioun; Latin informātiōn-, informātiō.
Etymology: < (i) Anglo-Norman enformacioun, enformation, informacioun, informacione, Anglo-Norman and Middle French enformacion, informacion, information (French information  ) investigation in a criminal matter made by legal officers (1274 in Old French; compare faire des enformations   to proceed to a judicial investigation (1323)), instruction (c1275 in Anglo-Norman), (non-judicial) investigation (1334), piece of information, information, data, knowledge (14th cent. or earlier), (plural) information which one obtains about someone (c1360), action of forming something or of giving something a shape or form (c1377), (plural) collection of knowledge about a particular subject (c1500),
and its etymon (ii) classical Latin informātiōn-, informātiō formation (of an idea), conception, in post-classical Latin also teaching, instruction (5th cent.), formation, creation, arrangement (from 12th cent. in British sources), (in philosophy) infusion with form (frequently from mid 13th cent. in British sources) < informāt-  , past participial stem of informāre  inform v.   + -iō  -ion suffix1, although in both French and English the sense development is greatly influenced by association with the verb (see senses at inform v.), and in each language the word may partly show a formation directly from the verb.
Compare Catalan informació   (1377), Spanish información   (14th cent.), enformación   (14th cent.; now arch.), Portuguese informação   (14th cent.), Italian informazione   (c1430). Compare informing n.
 I. The imparting of knowledge in general.

 a. The shaping of the mind or character; communication of instructive knowledge; education, training; †advice (obs.). Now rare.

a1387   J. Trevisa tr. R. Higden Polychron. (St. John's Cambr.) (1876) VI. 33   Fyve bookes com doun from heven for informacioun of mankynde.
a1393   Gower Confessio Amantis (Fairf.) vii. l. 1780   A tale, which is evident Of trouthe in comendacioun, Toward thin enformacion.
c1425   Lydgate Troyyes Bk. (Augustus A.iv) ii. l. 6202 (MED)   Agamenoun Hath be counseil and informacioun Of wyse Calchas made sette vp on þe londe, In-to an Ile.
?a1430   T. Hoccleve Clothing of Virgin (Huntington) l. 9 in Minor Poems (1970) 290   This man had a yong sone, Vn-to which he yaf informacion, Euery day.
1526   Bible (Tyndale) Eph. vi. 4   Brynge them vppe with the norter and informacion off the lorde.
1597   R. Hooker Of Lawes Eccl. Politie v. xx. 36   Their [sc. apocryphal books'] fitnesse for the publique information of life and manners.
a1629   W. Hinde Faithfull Remonstr. (1641) xxxi. 97   For their better information in the way of God, and more effectuall reclaiming of themselves.
1663   J. Spencer Disc. Prodigies (1665) 20   To lead them to the light by a faithful information of their Judgments.
1736   Bp. J. Butler Analogy of Relig. ii. vii. 257   Our Reason and Affections, which God has given us, for the Information of our Judgment and the Conduct of our Lives.
1813   T. Jefferson Writings (1830) IV. 182   The book I have read with extreme satisfaction and information.
1851   U. Gregory Let. 6 Oct. in F. W. Shearman Syst. Public Instr. & Primary Sch. Law Michigan (1852) 579   The literary and scientific institution contributes to the discipline and general information of the mind.
1901   H. Münsterberg Amer. Traits iii. 44   The community ought to see to it that both free election and the pedagogical information of the teachers were furthered.

a1387—1901(Hide quotations)


b. As a count noun: a teaching; an instruction; a piece of advice. Obs.

c1405  (▸c1390)    Chaucer Melibeus (Hengwrt) (2003) §900   Whanne Melibee hadde herd the grete skiles and resons of dame Prudence, & hire wise informacions and techynges.
1450   Rolls of Parl. V. 178/2   The seid Duke of Suffolk..hath..opened to your seid grete Ennemye Charles..all Instructions and Informations geven to your seid Ambassiatours.
1535   Bible (Coverdale) Ecclus. l. 27   I..haue tokened vp these informacions and documentes of wyszdome and vnderstandinge in this boke.
1556   N. Grimald in tr. Cicero Thre Bks. Duties Ep. sig. ¶iiijv   Paines taking, here to enriche themselues with enformations of vertue.
1602   W. Temple Antiquodlibet 25   They had for direction of their life not onely an addresse from nature, but some diuine and extraordinarie informations from the Lord.
1646   W. Umfrevile (title)    An information for Mr. William Dell... Or, an answer to his reply upon Mr. Loves contradictions.
1725   Pope tr. Homer Odyssey I. 21   It is to this Mentes we owe the two Poems of Homer, for the Poet in all probability had never wrote them without those lights and informations he receiv'd, and the discoveries he was enabled to make, by those travels.
1760   W. Law Spirit of Prayer i. 12   A most kind and loving information given by the God of love to his new-born offspring.

c1405—1760(Hide quotations)


 c. Chiefly Christian Church. Divine influence or direction; inspiration, esp. through the Holy Spirit.

c1450  (▸?a1422)    Lydgate Life Our Lady (Durh.) iv. l. 310 (MED)   Crist was..First a prophete by holy informacion.
a1530   W. Bonde Pylgrimage of Perfeccyon (1531) iii. f. Clxxxxix   The holy apostles makyng this Crede by the instinccyon & informacyon of the holy goost.
1559   Primer in Priv. Prayers (1851) 30   O God, which by the information of the Holy Ghost hast instructed the hearts of thy faithful.
a1633   W. Ames Analyt. Expos. Epist. Peter (1641) sig. Ii2   The end and scope of all divine information and instruction in respect of the faithfull is, that they may be stablished and grow in that grace which they have received.
1660   R. Baxter Catholic Unity 7   I dare promise you from the information of the Holy-Ghost here given us in this Text that now I have read to to [sic] you, to tell you the Only way to true Unity.
1720   J. Smith Unreasonableness Deism 203   The Particulars of this they ow'd wholly to the Information of that holy Spirit, by which they were enabled to give the whole Account.
1799   W. Barrow Eight Serm. iii. 129   Divine information appears to be the seed, however small, from which sprung the abundant harvest of science.
1809   G. Ewing in Eclectic Rev. (1812) 8 1124   Whatever God is pleased to communicate..must be equally certain, whether conveyed by intimate converse..or by the internal information of the Holy Spirit.
1859   W. F. Hook Church Dict. (ed. 8) 6/2   The power of absolution is remarkably exercised by St. Paul, though absent, and depending on both report and the information of the Holy Spirit.
1991   D. W. Halivni Peshat & Derash 160   A voice from heaven on occasion decided practical matters, and was considered a true source of divine information.
2000   TDR (Cambr., Mass.) (Nexis) 22 June   A 10th-century carved ivory book cover depicts Pope Gregory the Great receiving information from the Holy Spirit.

c1450—2000(Hide quotations)


d. Capacity of informing; instructiveness. Obs. rare.

1712   J. Henley in Spectator No. 518. ⁋7   A Number of Circumstances of equal Consequence and Information.
1793   J. Wilde Addr. Soc. Friends of People 126   A work..of very considerable information upon the constitutional history of that kingdom.

1712—1793(Hide quotations)


 a. Knowledge communicated concerning some particular fact, subject, or event; that of which one is apprised or told; intelligence, news.

1390   in J. Slater Early Scots Texts (Ph.D. thesis, Univ. of Edinb.) (1952) No. 18   Robert..through his wrang informatioune has gert skaith the said abbot.
a1393   Gower Confessio Amantis (Fairf.) v. 593 (MED)   This fieverous maladie..Makth the Jelous..To lese of love his appetit Thurgh feigned enformacion Of his ymaginacion.
c1450   Contin. Lydgate's Secrees (Sloane 2464) l. 1695   Fferthere to geve the Enformacioun, Of mustard whyte the seed is profitable.
1464   J. Gresham in Paston Lett. & Papers (2004) II. 294   I haue spoken on-to Catesby and delyuered hym your enformacion.
1555   R. Eden tr. Peter Martyr of Angleria Decades of Newe Worlde ii. iii. f. 63   Muche otherwyse then Zamudius information.
1662   E. Stillingfleet Origines Sacræ ii. ii. §1   That he have sufficient information concerning the things he undertakes to write of.
1672   T. Henshaw Let. 12 Dec. in H. Oldenburg Corr. (1973) IX. 353   All ye information I can gain of it is that it is taken out of certain birds nests in Island and Norway.
1726   Swift Gulliver II. iii. ii. 18   It was necessary to give the Reader this Information.
1786   W. Speechly Treat. Culture Pine Apple Pref. p. ix   The use of Oak-leaves in Hot-houses is a very important article of information.
1852   S. Thomson Dict. Domest. Med. 285/1   To use a simile, the brain may be likened to a great central telegraph office, to which the wires—nerves—convey the information from all parts of the body that supplies are wanted.
1876   W. C. Baker Let. 19 Dec. in R. Stuart et al. Stuart Lett. (1961) II. 1018   I have thus spun quite a long yarn without giving you information of any value.
1895   Law Times Rep. 73 651/1   If the underwriters wanted to know more, they ought to have asked for information.
1927   F. M. Thrasher Gang iv. xx. 416   The ‘grapevine system’, whereby information travels very rapidly through the length and breadth of the underworld.
1956   A. Wilson Anglo-Saxon Attitudes i. i. 7   I should be glad of any personal information you may care to provide me with upon this neglected and important young poet.
2003   N. Rush Mortals xxxv. 658   Ray's old self would have been elated to get any shreds and pieces of information that linked Ichokela with SWAPO in Namibia.

1390—2003(Hide quotations)


 b. As a count noun: a fact or circumstance of which a person is told; a piece of news or intelligence; (in early use) an account or narrative (of something). Now rare.

a1527   R. Thorne in R. Hakluyt Divers Voy. (1582) sig. B3v   An information of the parts of the world, discouered by him.
a1533   Ld. Berners tr. A. de Guevara Golden Bk. M. Aurelius (1546) sig. Ll.viijv   I..haue herde of the a longe informacion.
1624   (title)    A Briefe information of the Affaires of the Palatinate.
1666   A. Marvell Let. 27 Oct. in Poems & Lett. (1971) II. 43   Many informations are daily brought in to the two Committees about the Fire of London.
1724   Swift Some Observ. Wood's Half-pence 31   All the Assistance I had were some Informations from an Eminent Person.
1747   Ld. Chesterfield Let. 14 Apr. (1932) (modernized text) III. 906   The informations I have lately received in your favour from Mr. Harte.
1785   C. Reeve Progress of Romance I. Pref. p.v   Of metrical Romances they have treated largely, but with respect to those in prose, their informations have been scanty and imperfect.
1845   T. Carlyle Life Schiller (ed. 2) Pref.   Great changes in our notions, informations, in our relations to the Life of Schiller.
1886   R. L. Stevenson Kidnapped xxvii. 280   So far, I may tell you, this agrees pretty exactly with other informations that I hold.
1910   Eng. Hist. Rev. 25 127   Practically every detail of his story can be paralleled from these informations.
1959   M. Bunge Metasci. Queries ii. 52   Scientific prediction, in contrast with prophecy, is based on laws and on specific reliable informations regarding the present (or past) state of affairs.

a1527—1959(Hide quotations)


 c. As a mathematically defined quantity divorced from any concept of news or meaning (see quots. 1925, 1928, 19481, 19482); spec. one which represents the degree of choice exercised in the selection or formation of one particular symbol, message, etc., out of a number of possible ones, and which is defined logarithmically in terms of the statistical probabilities of occurrence of the symbol or the elements of the message.The latter sense (introduced by Shannon, quot. 19482, though foreshadowed earlier) is that used in information theory, where information is usually regarded as synonymous with entropy (entropy n. 2a).

1925   R. A. Fisher in Proc. Cambr. Philos. Soc. 22 709   What we have spoken of as the intrinsic accuracy of an error curve may equally be conceived as the amount of information in a single observation belonging to such a distribution.
1928   R. V. L. Hartley in Bell Syst. Techn. Jrnl. 7 540   What we have done then is to take as our practical measure of information the logarithm of the number of possible symbol sequences.
1935   R. A. Fisher in Jrnl. Royal Statist. Soc. 98 47   As a mathematical quantity information is strikingly similar to entropy in the mathematical theory of thermo-dynamics.
1948   N. Wiener Cybernetics iii. 76   A reasonable measure of the amount of information associated with the curve f1(x) is: −∞(log2f1(x))f1(x) dx. The quantity we here define as amount of information is the negative of the quantity usually defined as entropy in similar situations. The definition..is not the one given by R. A. Fisher for statistical problems, although it is a statistical definition.
1948   C. E. Shannon in Bell Syst. Techn. Jrnl. July 394   We shall call H = − Σpi log pi the entropy of the set of probabilities p1…, pn… The quantity H has a number of interesting properties which further substantiate it as a reasonable measure of choice or information.
1949   W. Weaver in C. E. Shannon & W. Weaver Math. Theory Communication 99   The word information, in this theory, is used in a special sense that must not be confused with its ordinary usage... In fact, two messages, one of which is heavily loaded with meaning and the other of which is pure nonsense, can be exactly equivalent, from the present viewpoint, as regards information.
1953   J. B. Carroll Study of Lang. vii. 200   Information (in the special sense required in communication theory) may be measured in bits.
1956   L. Brillouin Sci. & Information Theory p. x   Information is a function of the ratio of the number of possible answers before and after... This definition cannot distinguish between information of great importance and a piece of news of no great value for the person who receives it.
1970   O. Dopping Computers & Data Processing i. 19   Any language with different frequency of occurrence of different symbols has less information per symbol than another (hypothetical) language with the same number of symbol values but with equal probability of occurrence of them all.
2007   Yoga Mag. Oct. 10/2   This is a part of the brain responsible for filtering out some of the 400 billion bits of information we receive each second.

1925—2007(Hide quotations)


 d. Separated from, or without the implication of, reference to a person informed: that which inheres in one of two or more alternative sequences, arrangements, etc., that produce different responses in something, and which is capable of being stored in, transmitted by, and communicated to inanimate things.Information in this sense may at the same time be, or be regarded as, information in sense 2c.

1937   Discovery Nov. 329/1   The whole difficulty resides in the amount of definition in the [television] picture, or, as the engineers put it, the amount of information to be transmitted in a given time.
1944   Jrnl. Sci. Instrum. 21 133/2   Information is conveyed to the machine by means of punched cards.
1953   J. C. Eccles Neurophysiol. Basis Mind i. 1   We may say that all ‘information’ is conveyed in the nervous system in the form of coded arrangements of nerve impulses.
1953   J. D. Watson & F. H. C. Crick in Nature 30 May 965/2   In a long molecule many different permutations are possible, and it therefore seems likely that the precise sequence of the bases is the code which carries the genetical information.
1961   New Scientist 26 Jan. 201/2   The colour information is added to a conventional black-and-white signal on an amplitude and phase modulated sub-carrier located in the vision band.
1971   R. M. Dowben Cell Biol. v. 97   Genetically transmitted information precisely determines the amino acid composition of all proteins synthesized by each cell.
2002   T. Pratchett et al. Sci. of Discworld II xviii. 185   This flawed metaphor leads to the equally flawed conclusion that the genome explains the complexity of an organism in terms of the amount of information in its DNA code.

1937—2002(Hide quotations)


 e. Contrasted with data: that which is obtained by the processing of data.

1970   A. Chandor et al. Dict. Computers 99   Data is sometimes contrasted with information, which is said to result from the processing of data.
1977   Ann. Internal Med. 86 640/2   This admixture of information and data is cemented by an experience accumulated over the years and a dash of intuition into a ‘make-do’ diagnosis.
2001   R. W. Cahn Coming of Materials Sci. xiii. 498   The process already has a name—datamining... This means ‘the extraction of implicit, previously unknown and potentially useful information from data’.
2007   Information & Managem. 44 600/1   A common distinction within this domain is that data is raw numbers and facts, information is processed data.

1970—2007(Hide quotations)


 a. The action or fact of imparting the knowledge of a fact or occurrence; communication of news; notification. Now chiefly with modifying word, possessive, or of-phrase.

a1393   Gower Confessio Amantis (Fairf.) vi. l. 1927   This nyht for enformacion Ye schul have an avision.
?a1425  (▸c1400)    Mandeville's Trav. (Titus C.xvi) (1919) 39   I haue vndirstonden be informacioun þat his lampe quencheth.
a1535   T. More Hist. Richard III in Wks. (1557) 37/2   This haue I by credible informacion learned.
1555   R. Eden in tr. Peter Martyr of Angleria Decades of Newe Worlde Pref. sig. aij   The autoure..hath seene a greate parte him selfe..and gathered the residewe partly by information.
1601   Ld. Mountjoy Let. 7 Nov. in F. Moryson Itinerary (1617) ii. ii. ii. 152   Wee beseech your Lordships giue vs leaue to referre you for your information in that point to the Iournall which herewithall we send.
1694   R. South 12 Serm. II. 113   By way of Information or Notification of the Thing to Him.
1724   J. Henley in J. Henley et al. tr. Pliny the Younger Epist. & Panegyrick I. vi. xvi. 287   You desir'd no Information, but upon his Death [L. nec tu aliud quam de exitu eius scire voluisti].
1795   W. Paley View Evidences Christianity (ed. 3) II. ii. vi. 194   Difficulties always attend imperfect information.
1804   J. Larwood No Gun Boats 23   Her Emissaries are at the secret spywork of observation and information.
1877   Spirit of Times 24 Nov. 448/1   For the information of members, we publish entire the By-laws.
1930   Times 15 Mar. 8/6   The talking news-reel is a new vehicle of public information and entertainment.
1954   E. L. Kohler Auditing (ed. 2) xvi. 587   Qualifications or disclosures believed necessary for the information of the reader or for the protection of the accountant.
2001   S. Kane Virtual Freedom xv. 169   For your information, the following list indicates the major religious observances in the Fall Term.

a1393—2001(Hide quotations)


 b. orig. and chiefly U.S. A telephone service which provides information such as telephone numbers, the time, etc., often free of charge. Cf. information operator n. at Compounds 2.

1910   Sunday Rev. (Decatur, Illinois) 11 Dec. 9/1   One side of a conversation which sounds like this. ‘Information.’ ‘Eight-thirty.’
1941   P. Sturges Sullivan's Trav. in Five Screenplays (1986) 613   Information, please. Hello, information? Have you any freight trains going east this afternoon?
1977   Rolling Stone 30 June 80/3   Getting Honolulu information, I got a number for Wiley Hampson.
2007   M. Connelly in N.Y. Times Mag. 21 Jan. 30/1   He then called Information and was connected to the front desk at the Mark Twain [Hotel].

1910—2007(Hide quotations)

 II. The imparting of incriminating knowledge.

4. The action of imparting accusatory or incriminatory intelligence against a person; an instance of this, a charge, an accusation. Obs.Now only as implied in senses 5   and 6.

1387–8   Petition London Mercers in Rotuli Parl. (1767–77) III. 225/2 (MED)   Thanne were such proclamacions made..bi suggestion & informacion of suche that wolde nought her falsnesse had be knowen to owre lige Lorde.
1432   in Paston Lett. (1904) II. 38   The said Erle..maye not..lette malicious and untrewe men to make informacions of his persone.
1480   Caxton Chron. Eng. (1482) ccxliii. 288   A grete part of the peple..weren in grete errour and grutchyng ayenst the kyng thurgh Informacyon of lyes and fals lesyng that this Serle has made.
1535   G. Joye Apol. Tindale (Arb.) 24   Besydis this condempnacion of me by hearsaye or enformacion of hys faccyon.
1548   R. Crowley (title)    An informacion and Peticion agaynst the oppressours of the pore Commons of this Realme.
1565   A. Golding tr. Cæsar Martiall Exploytes in Gallia i. f. 16   Herevppon hee called Dumnorix aside..laying before him what informations were put vp against him.
1623   Shakespeare & J. Fletcher Henry VIII v. iii. 144   In seeking tales and Informations Against this man.  
1660   Commons Jrnl. in Milton Orig. Papers (1859) 57   Ordered, That Mr. Attorney General do cause effectual proceedings to be forthwith had, by way of indictment or information, against John Milton, in respect of the two books by him written.

1387–8—1660(Hide quotations)

 5. Law.

 a. Eng. Law. Originally: a complaint or charge presented to a court or magistrate in order to institute (routine) criminal proceedings without formal indictment (now hist.). Later: a statement in which a magistrate is informed that a named person has committed a stated offence and a summons or warrant is requested. to lay an information : to present such a charge or statement (as a common informer: see informer n. 2), in order to establish a claim to a penalty payment.The original object of this procedure was to dispense with the previous finding of a grand jury. For a detailed account of the original procedure and the various courts in which it applied, see Tomlin's Law Dict. (1835) at cited word.
Also used in many Commonwealth countries and other countries formerly under British colonial rule. U.S. Law: an accusation or criminal charge brought before a judge by a district attorney without a grand jury indictment.

1467–8   Rolls of Parl.: Edward IV (Electronic ed.) Parl. June 1467 §41. m. 39   That..every such infourmer..be admitted to sue for the kyng and hym self actions..uppon the same, by enformation to be yeven or made in eny of the seid courtes.
1482   Rolls Parl. VI. 208/1   If the Kyngs Attourney Generall of his said Duchie..put a Bill into eny of the Kyngs Courtes by wey of enformation..the Justices of the same Court..shall have power [etc.].
1523   Act 14 & 15 Hen. VIII c. 1   The person..that will first sue for the same, by originall of dette, bill, plainte, or informacion, in any of the kynges courtes.
1588–9   Act 31 Eliz. c. 5 §3   Suche officer[s] of recorde as have in respecte of their offices heretofore laufullye used to exhibite informacions or sue upon penall lawes.
1629   in W. Cobbett State Trials (1809) III. 300   This matter [against Elliot, Hollis and Valentine] is brought in this court by way of Information, where it ought to be by way of Indictment.
1647   T. May Hist. Parl. i. i. 13   They were also vexed with informations in inferiour Courts; where they were sentenced, and fined for matters done in Parliament.
1733   J. Harvey (title)    Orders, Warrants, Informations, and variety of Precedents for Justices of the Peace.
1769   W. Blackstone Comm. Laws Eng. (1809) IV. xxiii. §3 309   The objects of the other species of informations, filed by the master of the crown-office upon the complaint or relation of a private subject, are any gross and notorious misdemesnors, riots, batteries, libels, and other immoralities of an atrocious kind.
1838   Dickens Oliver Twist III. li. 311   The gentleman being accommodated with threepennyworth of brandy to restore her, lays an information next day, and pockets half the penalty.
1875   T. S. Pritchard Pract. Quarter Sessions iv. §4. 173   Prosecutions by information at the quarter sessions can only be instituted in cases where, by a penal statute, an informer is allowed to take this course to recover the penalty; but this proceeding is generally disused.
1918   Michigan Law Rev. 16 452   Because informations, unlike indictments, are not the work of a grand jury they may be amended, with the court's consent, by the public officer.
1951   G. Heyer Quiet Gentleman xiv. 203   There will be no duel, if I have to lay an information against them both to prevent it.
1978   Jrnl. Afr. Law 22 52   [In Sudan.] All police proceedings begin with an information being duly entered.
1997   T. Moran Legal Competence in Environm. Health ix. 259   Any Environmental Health Officer laying an information would be well advised to record the date and time that the information was handed to the office.

1467–8—1997(Hide quotations)


 b. Eng. Law. A complaint presented by the Crown in respect of a civil claim, in the form of a statement of the facts by the Attorney General, either ex officio or on the report of a private individual. See quot. 1900. Now hist. English information: a proceeding instituting an equity suit by the Crown; originally in the court of Exchequer, later in the Queen's Bench Division.

1624   Act 21 Jas. I c. 14 (title)    An Act to admit the Subject to plead the General Issue in Informations of Intrusion brought on the Kings behalf, and to retain his possession till Trial.
?1689   Proc. & Tryal Archbishop of Canterbury & Right Rev. Fathers 93   Here is an Information brought by Mr. Attorny General on behalf of the King.
1768   W. Blackstone Comm. Laws Eng. (1809) III. xvii. 261   An information on behalf of the crown, filed in the exchequer by the king's attorney general.
1819   J. Wightwick Rep. Cases Court of Exchequer 1810–11 167 (margin)    The Prince of Wales may file an English information of intrusion by his Attorney General, for lands parcel of the Dutchy of Cornwall.
1838   R. Meeson & W. N. Welsby Rep. Cases Exchequer II. 23   An information of intrusion, to recover possession of certain encroachments on the wastes of the Crown.
1888   Daily News 4 Dec. 5/2   By an exercise of the Royal prerogative an ancient method of procedure, known as an English information, is adopted for the settlement of these foreshore disputes between the Crown and its subjects.
1900   N.E.D. at Information sb. 5b   Civil informations are or have been laid: †(a) in Chancery, on behalf of the crown or government, or of those of whom the crown has custody..(obs.); (b) in the Exchequer, under the equitable jurisdiction of the court (called English information from its resemblance to a complaint in equity formerly called an English bill); now transferred to the Queen's Bench Division; (c) at Common Law, for Intrusion or trespass on crown lands; Purpresture or encroachment on crown or public lands; in personam, for money due to the crown; in rem, for goods, derelicts, etc. belonging to the crown, and for default in payment of excise duties.
1954   M. Beresford Lost Villages Eng. v. 143   The informations against enclosers laid in the Court of Exchequer.
2000   R. Smith Dict. Law 140   Latin Informations and English Informations were abolished by the Crown Proceedings Act 1947.

1624—2000(Hide quotations)


 c. Sc. Law.  (a) In court actions: a written argument ordered either by a Lord Ordinary in the Court of Session when reporting a case to the Inner House, or by the Court of Justiciary when difficult questions of law or relevancy arise (obs.);  (b) (in criminal cases) a formal written accusation or statement of a charge, upon which a person may be committed to trial (cf. sense 5a) (now rare).

1681   J. Dalrymple Modus Litigandi 18   Either Party give their Informations to the Lords containing the deduction and favour of the Cause.
1701   Sc. Acts Will. III c. 6   Enacts and ordains that all Informers shall signe their Informations.
1752   J. Louthian Form of Process (ed. 2) 102   The Clerk..reads the Prosecutor's Information, with the Information on or Answers thereto for the Pannel, off the Book.
a1768   J. Erskine Inst. Law Scotl. (1773) II. iv. iv. 734   No person can be imprisoned, in order to trial for any crime, without a warrant in writing, expressing the cause, and proceeding upon a signed information.
1838   W. Bell Dict. Law Scotl. 493   In the Court of Justiciary..the Court is in use to order Informations, on which the points raised are argued fully in writing.
1904   A. M. Anderson Criminal Law Scotl. (ed. 2) 240   In the case of commitment for trial, three things, as a rule, are essential:—1. A signed information which need not be formal.

1681—1904(Hide quotations)


 d. information quo warranto (also information in the nature of quo warranto and variants). The step by which proceedings are begun to challenge an alleged right to hold an office or to exercise a power.In English law, superseding the royal writ of quo warranto: see quo warranto n.

1690   R. L'Estrange Queries conc. Election Members Ensuing Parl. 6   Such respective City, Town, Burg or Cinque-port, whereof, or wherein he was a Member, at, or before the time of making such Surrender,..or prosecuting such Scire facias, Quo Warranto, or Information in nature of Quo Warranto.
a1726   G. Gilbert Cases Law & Equity (1760) 157   He admitted, that if an Information Quo warranto were brought for several distinct Franchises, then there might be different Judgments.
1765   W. Blackstone Comm. Laws Eng. (1809) I. xviii. 485   An information in the nature of a writ of quo warranto, to enquire by what warrant the members now exercise their corporate power.
1827   H. Hallam Constit. Hist. Eng. II. xii. 323   An information, as it is called, quo warranto was accordingly brought into the Court of King's Bench against the corporation.
1877   Electoral Count 1877 (U.S. Electoral Comm.) 272   It has been settled in England for more than one hundred years, and is perfectly well settled in this country [sc. the United States], that information in the nature of quo warranto is in its nature a civil proceeding.
1926   Times 1 Apr. 5/3   Either proceedings by an information quo warranto would lie or they would not. The test was whether the office was of a public nature.
1946   Cambr. Hist. Jrnl. 8 157   Beales's supporters applied for a quo warranto information.
2001   E. Campbell & H. P. Lee Austral. Judiciary iv. 90   The Rules of the High Court of Australia and of the Supreme Court of Western Australia preserve informations in the nature of quo warranto.

1690—2001(Hide quotations)


 6. Used to denote a proceeding similar to that of sense 5   in other systems of judicature, esp. that of ancient Rome.

1568   V. Skinner tr. R. González de Montes Discouery Inquisition of Spayne f. 1   Whensoeuer any denunciation (as they terme it) or rather information is geuen against any person..the Inquisitors accustomably vse this kind of practise.
1603   R. Johnson tr. G. Botero Travellers Breviat 57   The suppliant, complainant or suter, speaketh without aduocate or atturney, and is forced to answer presently to the information of his aduersarie if he be present.
1681   Pres. State Protestants France ii. 15   Next day there were Informations made on both sides.
1770   J. Langhorne & W. Langhorne tr. Plutarch Lives (1879) II. 909/2   The information was first laid under the archonship of Chœrondas.
1774   S. Hallifax Anal. Rom. Law (1795) 125   Informations are arguments urged before the Judge by the Advocates on both sides, after the Pleadings and Proofs are concluded.
1781   Gibbon Decline & Fall II. xvii. 60   The terrors of a malicious information, which might select them as the accomplices..of an imaginary crime, perpetually hung over the heads of the principal citizens of the Roman world.
1871   B. Jowett in tr. Plato Dialogues II. 97   Then follow informations and convictions for treason.
1938   W. L. Burdick Princ. Rom. Law & Relation to Mod. Law (2004) xxiii. 698 (note)    A form of one of these informations is given by Paulus.
1992   O. F. Robinson Anc. Rome xii. 195   While we know that the Roman system of criminal prosecution was a private process, with individual citizens laying informations, how far was this true of street crime?

1568—1992(Hide quotations)

 III. The giving of form.

 7. The giving of form (form n. 4a) or essential character to something; the action of imbuing with a particular quality; animation (esp. of the body by the soul). Also: an instance of this. Cf. inform v. 8. Now rare.

1630   J. Sharpe Triall Protestant Priuate Spirit x. 373   The soule or spirit doth giue information, or operation to the whole body, and euery part thereof.
1646   Sir T. Browne Pseudodoxia Epidemica vi. i. 274   There was a seminality and contracted Adam in the rib, which by the information of a soule, was individuated into Eve.  
1669   Earl of Clarendon Ess. in Tracts (1727) 117   That..no information of pride may enter into us to make us believe that we are better than other men.
1701   J. Norris Ess. Ideal World I. ii. 72   To be always in a separate state would be violent and unnatural to spirits made apt for the information of bodies, to which therefore they would naturally require to be united.
1748   S. Richardson Clarissa VI. xxix. 97   I believe I could, with a little pains, have given them life and soul, and to every feature of their faces sparkling information.
1870   R. W. Emerson Society & Solitude 144   There does not seem any limit to these new informations of the same Spirit that made the elements at first.
2002   S. F. Parsons Cambr. Compan. Feminist Theol. ii. xii. 217   To ask about how I am made, and so to ponder the information of the soul by that which lies beyond its grasp.

1630—2002(Hide quotations)




 P1. more information than (a person) needs (also wants) (to know) (and variants): used to express (humorous) disgust or disapproval in response to a disclosure of an excessively personal or graphic nature.

1993   Daily Variety 14 May a4/1   She was..regaling 323 strangers in the audience with the difference between C-section and normal delivery. The bemused Hall turned to the camera and confided, ‘That's more information than I needed.’
1993   Q. Tarantino & R. Avary Pulp Fiction (film script, last draft) 67   Vincent. I'm gonna take a piss. Mia. That was a little bit more information than I needed to know, but go right ahead.
2001   St. Petersburg (Florida) Times (Nexis) 18 Feb. 5 c   This probably is more information than you want, or need, to know, but [the] Nashville forward..likes to be naked in his hotel room on road trips.
2015   S. Nobel Forbidden Entry vi. 83   ‘He's got a serious case of the squirts!’ ‘Whoa, whoa! That's more information than I need, but thanks for the visual.’

1993—2015(Hide quotations)


 P2. colloq. too much information: used to express (humorous) disgust or disapproval in response to a disclosure of an excessively personal or graphic nature; frequently with capital initials; cf. TMI n. at T n. Additions.

1996   Winnipeg Free Press 22 Sept. b9/5 (heading)    Too Much Information!..‘I am a vegetarian, so I use Spam only as a form of contraception,’ former Monty Python lunatic Eric Idle said recently.
2005   Blender July 82/1   ‘I would drag my balls over ten miles of broken glass to hear Drea piss in a tin cup over a telephone,’ he says, taking the concept of ‘too much information’ to previously uncharted terrain.
2015   J. Nelson I'll give you the Sun 231   I left something for you. A photo... With a note on the back... It's gone... Probably for the best. Too Much Information, as you lot say.

1996—2015(Hide quotations)



 a. General attrib.

  information agent   n.

1871   ‘A Bank Manager’ Papers on Banking & Finance 156   It is well..to obtain through some respectable private information-agent, a trade opinion.
1950   Times 22 June 5/3   It was a breach of conduct for General Mast..to have been on familiar terms with him as information agent.

1871—1950(Hide quotations)


  information centre   n.

1906   Los Angeles Times 8 July 10/1   In addition to establishing a much-talked-of exhibit, they are becoming a sort of information center, and are queried with all sorts of queries.
1997   B. McCrea et al. S. Afr.: Rough Guide 210   On the southern tip of the lagoon is a large old farmhouse.., where there's an information centre, tea room and accommodation.

1906—1997(Hide quotations)


  information content   n.

1915   F. W. Sanders Reorganization of Our Schools 79   The information-content of the instruction should be as large as the limited time and..the ignorance of auxiliary subjects would make possible.
1982   J. Benedetti Stanislavski (1989) 44   The meaning of the words spoken depends not merely on their information content but on the situation in which they occur.
2002   Science 15 Mar. 1973   Chemical ecologists endeavor to decipher both the chemical structure and the information content of the mediating molecules.

1915—2002(Hide quotations)


  information desk   n.

1890   Christian Union 20 Feb. 286/3   This corner shall become an Information Desk for our young readers.
1947   J. Shelton in Thrilling Wonder Stories June 94/1   He climbed out, paid the cabbie and walked to the information desk presenting his reservation for transport.
2005   Guardian (Nexis) 20 Oct. 9   He hopes to instil common sense into the gallery, which until this year lacked simple visitor facilities such as a cloakroom and information desk.

1890—2005(Hide quotations)


  information flow   n.

1942   Galveston (Texas) Daily News 3 Mar. 1/4 (headline)    Arrests to stop information flow disclosed by Navy.
2004   Ottawa Citizen (Nexis) 14 July a15   Satellites are the centres of gravity when it comes to information flow.

1942—2004(Hide quotations)


  information item   n.

1890   M. Townsend Index U.S.A. Pref. 1   The mass of curious facts, coincidences, and information-items from which this book is evolved.
1978   Times 21 Nov. 28/3 (advt.)    The post will involve..writing of some information items.

1890—1978(Hide quotations)


  information office   n.

1782   J. Scott Short Rev. Trans. in Bengal 35   This man..had opened what may properly be called an information office in Calcutta.
1870   F. Kapp Immigration 213 (heading)    For the government of the information office, for friends of arriving emigrants.
1959   Manch. Guardian 11 Aug. 6/2   The information office of the United States Embassy in London has sent to newspapers what it calls a ‘backgrounder’ on the events in Laos.
2004   South China Morning Post (Nexis) 30 Dec. 15   The information office released a list of 75 spokespeople associated with 62 government departments at a low-key news conference on Tuesday.

1782—2004(Hide quotations)


  information service   n.

1885   N.Y. Times 29 Mar. 1/4   He also served during two campaigns as chief of the information service, supplying news and political points to members of the press.
1935   E. S. Hedges in Aslib Rep. Proc. 12th Conf. 35   An information service which distributes in-coming information to interested quarters can be more effective than one which merely renders the information available on request.
2001   Contact May 44/2   Access to many of the information services is actually fee-based.

1885—2001(Hide quotations)


  information storage   n.

1950   Amer. Scientist 38 278/2   A consideration of the effects of information storage and information transfer on physical, chemical, biological, psychological, and sociological systems.
2003   Science 31 Oct. 800/1   The remodeling of synapses is a fundamental mechanism for information storage and processing in the brain.

1950—2003(Hide quotations)


  information system   n.

1904   Times 10 Dec. 9/3   When for any reason a Ministry is attacked, its information system is denounced as delation.
1946   P. Crawford in Moore School Lect. (1985) 385   As the number, speed, and lethality of missiles increase, it becomes necessary to place a relatively small number of human operators at the center of an elaborate information system involving a large quantity of powerful computing equipment.
1982   J. Campbell Grammatical Man iii. xv. 174   Rules stored in the information system of DNA are responsible for the rich complexity of body and brain.
2006   Health Service Jrnl. 20 Apr. 41/1 (advt.)    You will need to demonstrate a track record in the delivery of change management and experience in managing information systems.

1904—2006(Hide quotations)


  information transfer   n.

1949   Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin) 20 Oct. 20/4   This is the formal means of information transfer.
2005   Jrnl. Cell Biol. 169 669   Sensory neurons in the retina..are able to continuously adjust their synaptic output to changing inputs and thus optimize information transfer.

1949—2005(Hide quotations)


  information work   n.

1890   Olean (Texas) Democrat (electronic text) 25 Dec.   The first appointment announced gave general satisfaction, being that of Moses P. Handy as chief of the ‘World's fair department of promotion and publicity.’ In plain English this means the newspaper advertising and information work.
1932   Proc. 9th Confer. ASLIB 43   In information work initiative is of high importance.
2002   P. Auger & J. Palmer Rise Player Manager ii. 26   Manufacturing and services were transformed by new technologies, becoming more and more dependent on knowledge and information work.

1890—2002(Hide quotations)

 b. Objective.
 (a) With participles and verbal nouns.

  information-carrying adj.

1920   U.S. Patent 1,330,726 2/1   The information carrying slips or coupons A, C, D, E and F are all similarly numbered.
1962   Science Survey 4 68   The information-carrying capacity of a wave depends directly on the frequency.
1997   R. Portanova in R. C. Ward Found. Osteopathic Med. vi. 83/2   A hormone is an information-carrying molecule.

1920—1997(Hide quotations)


  information gathering   n.

1893   W. G. Collingwood Life & Work J. Ruskin II. i. iv. 41   The intelligent analysis of words and thoughts and feelings of great authors, as opposed to..superficial information-gathering.
1967   N. S. M. Cox & M. W. Grose Organization Bibliogr. Rec. by Computer 70   A subject-specialist studies the information needs and information-gathering habits of a group of teachers.
1995   Direct Marketing June 10/2   Unwanted mail, ‘invisible’ information gathering, and identity theft topped the list of consumer privacy concerns.

1893—1995(Hide quotations)


  information-giving adj. and n.

1829   N. L. Beamish Peace Campaigns Cornet I. i. 8   ‘Shure Masther Pierce is goin' for a sowger,’ ejaculated Pat, with an information-giving face.
a1832   J. Bentham Deontol. (1834) II. iv. 211   Discourse may wound by information-giving.
1908   Westm. Gaz. 1 July 6/3   The first products of Canada, states one of the numerous information-giving tablets, are worth thirty million dollars a year.
1927   J. Adams Errors in School iv. 122   Instruction must be distinguished from mere information-giving.
1970   L. M. Lessinger in A. C. Ornstein Accountability for Teachers (1973) i. 10   The teaching role will finally change from information-giving to directing learning.
2004   Press (Christchurch, N.Z.) (Nexis) 8 Apr.   The course is an information-giving course, not based on personal or group therapy sessions.

1829—2004(Hide quotations)


  information-handling adj. and n.

1950   Science Oct. 399/1   Information-handling machines where emphasis is on logical competence.
1962   R. L. Meier Communications Theory of Urban Growth vii. 132 (heading)    The identification of a human capacity for information handling.
1989   ICAME Jrnl. 13 4   The understanding of database information-handling.
2005   Birmingham Post (Nexis) 5 Nov. 15   A dominant position in the information handling software market.

1950—2005(Hide quotations)


  information-seeking adj. and n.

1869   P. Hingston in A. Ward's Panorama Pref. 51   With due regard to the exactitude and accuracy of statement expected by information-seeking readers in a book of travels.
1956   J. Klein Study of Groups x. 140   The whole elaborate process of information-seeking, evaluation and decision.
2006   N. Devon Jrnl. (Nexis) 9 Feb. 8   Book-reading, information-seeking villagers in North Devon have started a campaign to save their local library.

1869—2006(Hide quotations)

 (b) With agent nouns.

  information broker   n.

1964   Jrnl. Polit. Econ. 72 518   The Commissariat..acts like a mentor, a co-ordinator, an expert, and an information broker.
2007   National Jrnl. (Nexis) 8 Dec.   His reputation as a political guru and information broker has made him an important member of the informally dubbed ‘Off the Record Club’.

1964—2007(Hide quotations)


  information gatherer   n.

1899   H. S. Clark Legionaries xviii. 283   Independent action..directed against one of the government's information gatherers.
1964   M. McLuhan Understanding Media (1967) ii. xxviii. 302   Man the food-gatherer reappears incongruously as information-gatherer.
2007   Sunday Express (Nexis) 20 May 10   You have to be a very special sort of woman to deal with all the pressures while at the same time being a relaxed and highly efficient information gatherer.

1899—2007(Hide quotations)


  information age   n. the era in which the retrieval, management, and transmission of information, esp. by using computer technology, is a principal (commercial) activity; cf. computer age n. at computer n. Compounds 5.

1960   R. S. Leghorn in H. B. Maynard Top Managem. Handbk. xlvii. 1024   Present and anticipated spectacular informational achievements will usher in public recognition of the ‘information age’, probably under a more symbolic title.
1971   M. McLuhan Let. 8 Mar. (1987) 428   I suggest that it can be the basis for a complete restatement of political and economic realities in the information age of the wired planet.
2002   P. Kotler et al. Marketing Moves i. 6   The information age has created hypercompetitive markets.

1960—2002(Hide quotations)


  information architect   n. Computing a person who works in the field of information architecture.

1966   J. McLaughlin Information Technol. & Survival of Firm v. 63   These preliminary analyses are generally undertaken by the management of the firm itself, often in conjunction with a professional information architect.
1996   Internet World June 38/1   Web designers see their function as that of an information architect.
2004   Times (Nexis) 24 June 12   Information architects..make sites work, and increase their usefulness to the visitor.

1966—2004(Hide quotations)


  information architecture   n. Computing the manner in which information is stored, organized, or disseminated, (now) esp. online or on a website.

1969   D. W. Miller & M. K. Starr Executive Decisions & Operations Res. (ed. 2) ix. 225   Similar insights concerning the economics of information architecture can usually be obtained from descriptive models by using appropriate heuristic procedures.
1971   Automation Mar. 47/1   To implement such multilevel information architecture, one need not develop all three levels at once.
1997   Internet World Jan. 36/2   The first order of business in..information architecture is to create a list of all the..services you plan to offer on your Web site.
2005   Washington Post (Nexis) 4 July d5   One..producer with five to 10 years of experience in information architecture and design.

1969—2005(Hide quotations)


  information booth   n. a (temporary) booth where information is provided to the public, esp. on a particular subject.

1892   Washington Post 10 Sept. 7/1 (headline)    Hich school cadets assigned to information booths.
1954   M. E. Treadwell Women's Army Corps xxxiv. 692   Small information booths were set up in department stores..and other places where women were more likely to go.
2006   Daily Tel. (Nexis) 4 Feb. 21   A 12-month beano organised by the city fathers, with an information booth beside the State Opera.

1892—2006(Hide quotations)


  information bureau   n. an office or department which provides information to the public; (also in extended use) a person considered as a source of information.

1869   Man. Corporation City N.Y. 1868 131 (heading)    Information bureau for friends of arriving emigrants.
1922   E. Wallace Flying Fifty-five vii. 44   Well, Jebson... You're a pretty fine information bureau! You told me that Patience hadn't a ghost of a chance.
1968   Listener 4 July 31/3   The information bureau of the Disabled Living Activities Group.
2006   Express & Echo (Exeter) (Nexis) 26 Aug. 4   The information bureau moved to bigger premises..to deal with the increased demand for its services.

1869—2006(Hide quotations)


  information explosion   n. a rapid increase in the amount of information available, (now) esp. as a result of the increased use, availability, and sophistication of information technology.

1941   Lawton (Okla.) Constit. 30 Nov. 10/3   Are people better informed than they used to be? Answer: Yes, thanks to the information explosion.
1960   Oshkosh (Wisconsin) Northwestern 24 May 19/2   The information explosion in which the field of science alone estimates that the amount of material available has doubled in the last 10 years.
2001   Sydney Morning Herald (Nexis) 14 Mar. 7   The committee agreed to a co-ordinated approach to plagiarism in light of the information explosion which has given students more opportunities to cheat.

1941—2001(Hide quotations)


  information gap   n. a deficiency or disparity in access to information.

1891   Calif. Educ. Rev. Jan. 45/1   The five little books..fill what may be termed the information gap, so noticeable in most school readers published in the United States.
1964   Holland (Mich.) Evening Sentinel 20 Aug. 38/2   There is an information gap of major dimensions between people of advanced education and the broad mass public.
2006   Korea Herald (Nexis) 26 Oct.   Seoul has been pushing its e-governance initiative since 2002 with the goal of narrowing the information gap between cities and regional villages.

1891—2006(Hide quotations)


  information officer   n. a person whose job is to provide information.

1889   Man. Industr. & Commer. Intercourse between U.S. & Spanish Amer. vii. 605   The Argentine government maintains information officers abroad,..furnishing whatever data are required respecting the laws, usages, and wealth of the republic.
1947   Jrnl. Documentation 2 240   I am not a librarian at all; I am not even a trained information officer.
2000   D. Bailey Sitting on Stairs 8   I was an information officer with the provincial government.

1889—2000(Hide quotations)


  information operator   n. U.S. a telephone operator who provides information such as telephone numbers, the time, etc., often free of charge; cf. sense 3b.

1903   Lima (Ohio) Times-Democrat (Electronic text) 29 June   Mrs. McSherry..having been until recently in the employ of the Union Telephone Co. as its information operator.
1952   Washington Post 8 Dec. 15/7   Information operators were busy yesterday answering queries from people who had dialed the old four-digit number.
2002   D. Ehrenfeld Swimming Lessons 46   The artificial information operator at 411.

1903—2002(Hide quotations)


  information overload n. exposure to or provision of too much information; a problematic situation or state of mental stress arising from this (cf. information fatigue n.).

1962   R. L. Meier Communications Theory of Urban Growth vii. 132 (heading)    The threat of information overload... The problems of widespread saturation in communications flow may arise within the next half century.
1996   Independent (Electronic ed.) 15 Oct.   The report..found that half of the managers already complained of information overload, partly caused by ‘enormous’ amounts of unsolicited information, and the same proportion expected the Internet to become a prime cause of the problem in the next two years.
2001   C. Glazebrook Madolescents 81   Thank you, Mickey. No need for information overload.

1962—2001(Hide quotations)


  information-poor   n. and adj.  (a) n. (with the and pl. concord) people who lack adequate access to information (esp. that considered important for full participation in society or politics), as a class;  (b) adj. lacking access to such information; (also) containing or providing little information.

1970   E. B. Parker in H. Sackman & N. Nie Information Utility & Social Choice 53   Will the information utilities..be utilized..to exacerbate the serious tensions in our society by further widening the gulf between the information-rich and the information-poor?
1974   G. G. Unruh & W. M. Alexander Innovations in Secondary Educ. (ed. 2) i. 6   Schools..continue to design their programs for an information-poor society.
1985   Ann. Statistics 13 436   The more interesting PP methods are able to ignore irrelevant (i.e. noisy and information-poor) variables.
2000   Sunday News (Dar-es-Salaam) 26 Mar. 2/5   Ironical, isn't it, that the so-called information poor may be sitting on a gold mine of information stored in the DNA of the plants they use daily.

1970—2000(Hide quotations)


  information processing   n. the processing of information (by a machine or by an organism) so as to yield new or more useful information; frequently attrib.; cf. data processing n.

1950   Math. Tables & Other Aids Computation 4 31   Automatic digital computers belong to a class of devices which may be described by the term ‘information processing systems’.
1971   Real Time: Infotech State of Art Rep. 499   It is a fundamental requirement of any information processing system to ensure that the data..is maintained at an acceptable level of accuracy, and is protected against corruption.
2005   Nature 12 May p. vii   Cubozoans, or box jellyfish, each have twenty-four eyes of four types, but no central brain for information processing.

1950—2005(Hide quotations)


  information retrieval n. the tracing and recovery of information using reference materials, esp. the recovery of information stored in a computer system.

1950   C. N. Mooers Theory Digital Handling Non-numerical Information (Zator Techn. Bull. No. 48) 5   The requirements of information retrieval, of finding information whose location or very existence is a-priori unknown.
1972   Computers & Humanities 7 61   Prof. D. Raj Reddy offers a set of exercises in..language translation, poetry concordance, and information retrieval to interested readers.
2003   New Scientist 7 June 59 (Advt.)   You will take on a wide remit that includes information retrieval, analysis, visualisation and road mapping.

1950—2003(Hide quotations)


  information revolution   n. the increase in the availability of information and the changes in the ways it is stored and disseminated that have resulted from the use of computers, esp. in respect of their economic and industrial impact.

1961   Jrnl. Marketing 25 3/2   We are entering upon an Information Revolution in which the supply of data increases by geometric progression.
1997   J. Seabrook Deeper v. 133   In the Information Revolution we can get machines to do most of the grunt work.
2006   N.Y. Rev. Bks. 21 Dec. 18/2   American policy-makers..are dealing with the ongoing ‘Information Revolution’ that Boots dates from the 1990s.

1961—2006(Hide quotations)


  information-rich adj. and n.  (a) adj. containing, providing, or possessing a great deal of information; (also) having easy access to information (esp. that considered important for full participation in society or politics);  (b) n. (with the and pl. concord) people who have access to such information, as a class.

1959   C. B. Anfinsen Molecular Basis of Evol. x. 205   These two cellular components are somehow linked in the process of establishing information-rich biosynthetic machinery in the cytoplasm.
1970   E. B. Parker in H. Sackman & N. Nie Information Utility & Social Choice 53   Will the information utilities..be utilized..to exacerbate the serious tensions in our society by further widening the gulf between the information-rich and the information-poor?
1972   Psychol. Today Feb. 73   Two aspects of the communications structure of information-rich open societies are destroying two classical functions of the school.
2000   Independent on Sunday 2 Jan. i. 21/2   The information-rich among us will move further into the virtual world made possible by information technology.

1959—2000(Hide quotations)


  information room   n. a room provided as a place where information may be gathered and shared; spec. (in the United Kingdom) in a police headquarters (see quot. 1958).

1874   Friends' Q. Examiner 8 573   My memory also records the Mechanics' Institute, the information-room, and sundry other comforts which the Darlington Committee had bethought themselves of for our behest.
1913   Atlanta (Georgia) Constit. 14 May 11/1   The appointment of a clerk to be designated ‘Information Deputy’, who shall have an ‘information room’.
1958   A. Garfitt Bk. for Police I. iii. 77   An Information Room is established at some [police] headquarters and is the centre through which information, particularly as to crime and suspected crime, can be disseminated by wireless, teleprinter or telephone.
2006   Evening Chron. (Newcastle) (Nexis) 12 Dec. 6   Parents have their own information room, where they can chat to staff about different aspects of care.

1874—2006(Hide quotations)


  information security n. the protection of information, now esp. electronic information, from unauthorized access or use; (also) the action taken to protect information or data; frequently attrib.

1947   Vidette-Messenger (Valparaiso, Indiana) 13 Nov. 4/3   The board was ordered, as part of Mr. Truman's loyalty program, to draft minimum requirements for information security throughout the government.
1989   Bank Syst. & Equipm. Aug. 104/3   How many more of these serious [virus] attacks need to occur before information security becomes less of a choice and recognized more as a way of doing business today?
2004   V. C. Joshi E-finance viii. 114   The extent of the information security programme should be commensurate with the degree of risk associated with the institution's systems, networks, and information assets.

1947—2004(Hide quotations)


  information superhighway   n. Computing and Telecomm. a route or network for the high-speed transfer of information; esp.  (a) a proposed national fibre-optic network in the United States;  (b) the Internet; also in extended use.

1983   Newsweek 3 Jan. 40/1   Two information superhighways being built of fiber-optic cable will link Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
1993   N.Y. Times 26 Oct. c9/1   One of the technologies Vice President Al Gore is pushing is the information superhighway, which will link everyone at home or office to everything else.
2000   Daily Tel. 16 Mar. (Connected section) 10/5   Schools using telephone modems or ISDN digital phone lines for connecting to the internet are discovering that traffic along the information superhighway often slows down to a crawl.
2001   N.Y. Mag. 19 Mar. 105/1   The spinal cord, the body's information superhighway.

1983—2001(Hide quotations)


  information war   n. a war during which the reporting or manipulation of information is particularly important or notable; a conflict over the possession or distribution of information; (also) an instance or period of information warfare (now the usual sense).

1966   (title of transcript)    At Issue 69: The Information War, National Educational Television.
1974   T. L. Stoddard et al. Area Handbk. for Finland 95   The information war continued into the early 1970s. The influence of the media, like that of the educational system, was just being fully explored.
1982   Financial Times (Nexis) 26 May 17   The Argentines have..been winning the information war hands down... Millions of viewers in friendly and neutral countries..have by default been receiving a one-sided anti-British picture so far as actuality material goes.
2002   D. Verton Hacker Diaries viii. 178   Undoubtedly, the programs were also stored as part of a virtual cyberarsenal for possible use in a future information war.

1966—2002(Hide quotations)


  information warfare n. the strategic use of information or information technology for intelligence-gathering or military purposes; the deliberate disruption of information and communications systems, esp. by a terrorist or subversive group.

1981   N.Y. Times 5 Feb. a23/3   A form of information warfare develops, with an escalation in the number of leaks, and with foreign intelligence establishments learning a great deal about America's military capabilities.
1993   A. Toffler & H. Toffler War & Anti-war iv. xvi. 140   In the office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense there is a unit..whose primary task is weighing the relative strength of opposing military forces... This unit has shown a strong interest in information warfare and what might be called info-doctrine.
1997   Daily Tel. (Electronic ed.) 25 May   Police and the security services are increasingly worried about the potential of information warfare and are working to combat the threat.

1981—1997(Hide quotations)


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