crowd·​sourc·​ing | \ˈkrau̇d-ˌsȯr-siŋ \

Definition of crowdsourcing 

: the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers Online crowdsourcing strategies that induce masses of people to solve a task, such as locating far-flung items or alleviating world hunger, work best when financial incentives impel participants to enlist friends and acquaintances in the effort, a new study concludes.— Bruce Bower These sites take advantage of the phenomenon known as crowdsourcing, or turning to the online masses for free or low-cost submissions.— Katie Hafner

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Other Words from crowdsourcing

crowdsource transitive verb crowdsourced; crowdsourcing
But many people don't know the story behind Legos—how the company, on the verge of collapse, crowdsourced its future by polling its most hardcore fans, or how the little blocks have exploded to become a major force in education … Smithsonian

Examples of crowdsourcing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The crowdsourcing effort continues; nearly 2,500 people have contributed to History Unfolded, which now features more than 15,000 article clippings. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Yes, Milwaukee newspapers reported on the Holocaust. But was it fully understood?," 3 May 2018 To have robust technology as well as crowdsourcing is probably the way forward. Lilly Milman, Billboard, "WhoSampled Remixes Mobile App With Music Recognition Feature: Exclusive," 28 June 2018 The crowdsourcing site had raised more than $48,000 as of Friday. Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, "Carpentersville man who lost legs in boating accident getting wheelchair-friendly house from team of volunteers," 14 July 2018 CompStak taps a crowdsourcing system to gather specific lease details from brokers and others who report the data in exchange for access to other CompStak information. Keiko Morris, WSJ, "VTS Plans Tool to Help Commercial Real Estate Clients Track Market Trends," 18 June 2018 The Beyond Good and Evil 2 crowdsourcing project is similar to other HitRecord projects. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Joseph Gordon-Levitt is defending a controversial plan to crowdsource Beyond Good and Evil 2 art," 14 June 2018 Musk’s faith in the power of crowdsourcing is common in Silicon Valley. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Elon Musk’s Fall to Earth," 25 May 2018 What happened next is a classic example of news — and outrage — spreading rapidly through social media, along with some expert crowdsourcing. NBC News, "New York politicians file formal complaint against lawyer whose racist rant went viral," 17 May 2018 Just as important to Landon is the crowdsourcing project to find more information about Corbin. Washington Post, "Where’s Capt. Molly? Search on for Revolutionary hero grave," 29 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crowdsourcing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of crowdsourcing

2006, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crowdsourcing

crowd entry 2 + outsourcing

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Last Updated

29 Oct 2018

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The first known use of crowdsourcing was in 2006

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Comments on crowdsourcing

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to express warning or disapproval

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