outsource

verb out·source \ ˈau̇t-ˌsȯrs \
|Updated on: 5 Aug 2018

Definition of outsource

transitive + intransitive
: to procure (something, such as some goods or services needed by a business or organization) from outside sources and especially from foreign or nonunion suppliers : to contract for work, jobs, etc., to be done by outside or foreign workers
  • decided to outsource some back-office operations
  • Some services and aspects of production were outsourced to cut costs.
  • Firms outsource to capitalize on their strengths while minimizing business activities that are not core functions.
  • —John K. Borchardt
— compare insource

Recent Examples of outsource from the Web

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

First Known Use of outsource

1979

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

OUTSOURCE Defined for English Language Learners

outsource

Definition of outsource for English Language Learners

  • : to send away (some of a company's work) to be done by people outside the company


Learn More about outsource


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up outsource? 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 lighting electrician on a movie set

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens-painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!