crowdsourcing

noun crowd·sourc·ing \ ˈkrau̇d-ˌsȯr-siŋ \
|Updated on: 9 Jul 2018

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

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

Recent Examples of crowdsourcing from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of crowdsourcing

2crowd + outsourcing


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up crowdsourcing? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a simultaneous discharge of guns

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a-pile-of-three-dimensional-shapes-in-green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!