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

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 Under an earlier labor agreement, the company was limited in its ability to outsource work to subcontractors. Aaron Gregg The Washington Post, Arkansas Online, 2 Oct. 2023 Often, where demand is high like in Turkey, diplomatic missions outsource the visa application process to third-party companies. Robert Badendieck, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 Nov. 2023 Some states run those plans themselves; others outsource the plans to private insurers. Ali Martin, The Christian Science Monitor, 31 Aug. 2023 The company, which has benefitted from growth in ecommerce and customers’ desire to outsource distribution functions, offered no reason for the closure. Lorraine Mirabella, Baltimore Sun, 21 Aug. 2023 But beyond the British particulars, the effort has captured the interest of other nations that would similarly like to outsource the issue of migration. Karla Adam, Washington Post, 11 Aug. 2023 One of her patients similarly spent most of his sessions talking about how idiotic everyone is, from a cashier to his wife’s therapist, as a way to outsource the problem. Byalexa Mikhail, Fortune Well, 2 Aug. 2023 Trump has also proposed barring U.S. companies from investing in China, banning China from buying U.S. farmland and revoking federal contracts to companies that outsource to China. Caitlin Yilek, CBS News, 25 July 2023 Outsourced production creates more supply risks One of the consequences of generics’ meager margins is that drug companies outsource production to lower-cost countries. Geoffrey Joyce, The Conversation, 20 July 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1979, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of outsource was in 1979

Dictionary Entries Near outsource

Cite this Entry

“Outsource.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outsource. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

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