Printable Version
Pronunciation: kræwd-sors Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: To solicit ideas and services from a group of people, especially from internet communities.

Notes: Here is a brand-new word (see Word History) which has suddenly risen to wide use. That is usually an indication of a need for a new name for something brand new. The present participle (crowdsourcing) is most widely used, as a noun and an adjective.

In Play: The most famous crowdsourcing creations are Wikipedia and Wiktionary. Crowdsourcing is usually invoked to create free content: "Crowdsourcing blurs the line between work and play." We may also crowdsource money: "Bernie crowdsourced his political campaign from people who contributed an average of $27." Crowdsourcing is a consequence of the Web's becoming a huge encyclopedia of the world, by the world, and for the world.

Word History: Today's Good Word was very recently created but has already found homes in Merriam-Webster and the Oxford English Dictionary. It entered English as crowdsourcing, coined in June 2006 in The Rise of Crowdsourcing in Wired by Jeff Howe. Howe created his word by analogy with outsource. Source was copied from Old French sourse "headspring of a stream", taken from the past participle of sourdre "to rise, spring up". Old French inherited this one from Latin surgere "to rise, ascend; attack", source also of English borrowing surge. It is a contraction of surrigere, comprising an assimilated form of sub "(up from) under, below" + regere "to keep straight, guide" from PIE root reg- "(move in a) straight line", a popular PIE word described here (in the Word History).

Dr. Goodword,

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