out·​source | \ ˈau̇t-ˌsȯrs How to pronounce outsource (audio) \
outsourced; outsourcing; outsources

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

Examples of outsource in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The White House has been trying to persuade companies who have left the U.S. or outsourced workers to bring back jobs, operations and assets, though success has been limited. Laura Davison, Bloomberg.com, "Firms That Left U.S. to Cut Taxes Could Qualify for Fed Aid," 15 May 2020 Who can slough off risk by outsourcing tasks and deliveries? Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: A portrait of coronavirus inequality in the Mission District," 6 May 2020 Whether it’s located in-house or outsourced or a mixture of both, a permanent negative branding campaign is feasible. Joseph O’neill, The New York Review of Books, "Brand New Dems?," 29 Apr. 2020 As the face shields grow in popularity, Schowalter has started outsourcing work to his father's workplace, Exacto Springs in Grafton. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Port Washington teenager uses his 3-D printers to make 250 face shields for front-line workers," 28 Apr. 2020 Also known as outsourcing facilities, the bigger compounders make and sell large quantities of medicines without requiring patient prescriptions. Ed Silverman, STAT, "FDA takes another step to ease shortages of drugs for Covid-19 patients on ventilators," 20 Apr. 2020 The contract has managed to be one of the toughest in American’s history, as employees wanted to preserve premium medical benefits from U.S. Airways after the 2013 merger as well as prevent the company from outsourcing any more maintenance jobs. Kyle Arnold, Dallas News, "COVID-19 pushes today’s contract vote for 30,000 American Airlines workers all online," 26 Mar. 2020 Independent contractors who plan to bring in help during their leave can evaluate what portions of their job can be outsourced, and network with fellow freelancers in their industry, Morris said. Christina Couch, New York Times, "How Freelancing Parents Can Create Maternity or Paternity Leave," 17 Apr. 2020 Prior to coronavirus, some of that labor could be outsourced: daycare, babysitters, house cleaners, going out to eat instead of creating another round of dishes at home. Jessica Roy, Los Angeles Times, "How to help your marriage survive coronavirus," 15 Apr. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of outsource

1979, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for outsource

Time Traveler

The first known use of outsource was in 1979

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Statistics for outsource

Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Outsource.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outsource. Accessed 30 May. 2020.

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How to pronounce outsource (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of outsource

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

More from Merriam-Webster on outsource

Spanish Central: Translation of outsource

Nglish: Translation of outsource for Spanish Speakers

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