out·​source | \ ˈau̇t-ˌsȯrs \
outsourced; outsourcing; outsources

Definition of outsource

: 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

Jon Gambrell/AP Saudi Arabia is reportedly outsourcing its war in Yemen to be fought by child soldiers from Sudan. Amanda Sakuma, Vox, "Saudi Arabia is reportedly outsourcing its war in Yemen to child soldiers," 30 Dec. 2018 Many people already outsource their birthday greetings to Facebook, although not without some consternation. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "You can buy a wearable camera to track your social life," 12 Dec. 2018 Democrats also labeled Braun a hypocrite for attacking Donnelly’s family business for outsourcing jobs to Mexico while using Chinese goods for his own brand of auto accessories. Brian Slodysko, The Seattle Times, "GOP frets about prospects for picking up Indiana Senate seat," 18 Sep. 2018 Near the top of the pay scale, hiring in the IT outsourcing industry (which is relatively female-friendly) has all but stalled as its biggest companies face pressures from automation and the prospect of resurgent protectionism. The Economist, "Culture and the labour market keep India’s women at home," 5 July 2018 An obvious question here is whether companies developing self-driving cars will really outsource this function to a third party like Perceptive Automata rather than developing the capability in-house. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Pedestrians are a hard problem for self-driving cars—here’s one solution," 30 July 2018 Some of that includes outsourcing jobs and relocating plans overseas. Fox News, "TSA program tracks unsuspecting passengers," 31 July 2018 The goal was to dramatically expand the product catalogue available on Amazon while outsourcing the risk of buying inventory. Jason Del Rey, Recode, "An Amazon revolt could be brewing as the tech giant exerts more control over brands," 29 Nov. 2018 Big tech companies would win and outsourcing companies would lose under a change to the way the lottery for the H-1B visa is run. Ethan Baron, The Seattle Times, "H-1B lottery change could help big tech companies, hurt outsourcers," 26 Oct. 2018

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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Statistics for outsource

Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for outsource

The first known use of outsource was in 1979

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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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