crowd·​sourc·​ing ˈkrau̇d-ˌsȯr-siŋ How to pronounce crowdsourcing (audio)
: 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
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 Valley of the Khans Project also successfully employed crowdsourcing (via more than 10,000 online volunteers) to help analyze the resulting satellite and aerial photography images, looking for unusual features across the vast landscape. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 22 Nov. 2023 Instead of a few mathematicians at one or two universities chipping away at a problem—the typical research model in math —the Polymath Project takes a crowdsourcing approach. Jack Murtagh, Scientific American, 19 Sep. 2023 There’s an app called Smoke Sense, a crowdsourcing project that was developed by my colleagues from the EPA. Lauren J. Young, Scientific American, 7 June 2023 Kid Rock joins transphobic backlash to Bud Light’s partnership with Dylan Mulvaney April 4, 2023 The campaign on Christian crowdsourcing site GiveSendGo surpassed $2.3 million late Monday afternoon. Emily St. Martin, Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2023 On the eve of the trial, Gillum used social media to drum up contributions to the Bring Justice Home Legal Defense Fund, a crowdsourcing effort spearheaded by Ben Crump, a nationally renowned civil-rights attorney who also is a close ally of Gillum. Dara Kam, Sun Sentinel, 17 Apr. 2023 The information comes from public records, crowdsourcing, data journalism, news stories, social media posts, press releases, and volunteer assistance. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, 2 Apr. 2023 In the wake of Lamond’s suspension, his wife came to his defense in an internet post on the Christian crowdsourcing site GiveSendGo soliciting money for his defense, saying Lamond’s job was to gather information on those who might cause harm in the city. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, 3 Sep. 2022 Launched in 2013, Premise is part of the billion-dollar crowdsourcing industry, which hires workers, frequently in developing countries, to complete piecemeal tasks, such as answering surveys, taking pictures or labeling images for artificial intelligence systems. NBC News, 3 Mar. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'crowdsourcing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


crowd entry 2 + outsourcing, gerund of outsource

First Known Use

2006, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of crowdsourcing was in 2006

Dictionary Entries Near crowdsourcing

Cite this Entry

“Crowdsourcing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by seeking contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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