1580s, "action of misinforming;" 1660s, "wrong or false information," from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + information.
Entries linking to misinformation
prefix of Germanic origin affixed to nouns and verbs and meaning "bad, wrong," from Old English mis-, from Proto-Germanic *missa- "divergent, astray" (source also of Old Frisian and Old Saxon mis-, Middle Dutch misse-, Old High German missa-, German miß-, Old Norse mis-, Gothic missa-), perhaps literally "in a changed manner," and with a root sense of "difference, change" (compare Gothic misso "mutually"), and thus possibly from PIE *mit-to-, from root *mei- (1) "to change."
Productive as word-forming element in Old English (as in mislæran "to give bad advice, teach amiss"). In 14c.-16c. in a few verbs its sense began to be felt as "unfavorably," and it came to be used as an intensive prefix with words already expressing negative feeling (as in misdoubt). Practically a separate word in Old and early Middle English (and often written as such). Old English also had an adjective (mislic "diverse, unlike, various") and an adverb (mislice "in various directions, wrongly, astray") derived from it, corresponding to German misslich (adj.). It has become confused with mis- (2).
late 14c., informacion, "act of informing, communication of news," from Old French informacion, enformacion "advice, instruction," from Latin informationem (nominative informatio) "outline, concept, idea," noun of action from past participle stem of informare "to train, instruct, educate; shape, give form to" (see inform). The restored Latin spelling is from 16c.
Meaning "knowledge communicated concerning a particular topic" is from mid-15c. The word was used in reference to television broadcast signals from 1937; to punch-card operating systems from 1944; to DNA from 1953. Information theory is from 1950; information technology is from 1958 (coined in "Harvard Business Review"); information revolution, to be brought about by advances in computing, is from 1966. Information overload is by 1967.
updated on January 29, 2019
Dictionary entries near misinformation