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To give a job or assignment to an outside entity (so as to avoid doing the job oneself). A noun or pronoun can be used between "contract" and "out" or after "out." We contracted the project out because no one on our staff has the time to scan all of those documents.
contract something out
to make an agreement with someone to do a specific amount of work. (Rather than doing it oneself or in one's own place of business.) I will contract this out and have it done by consultants. I contracted out this kind of job the last time.
To engage another person or company by contract to undertake some job that is typically considered part of one's business: Many companies contract out administrative tasks in order to concentrate on sales and marketing.