noun li·ai·son \ˈlē-ə-ˌzän, lē-ˈā-, ÷ˈlā-ə-\

Definition of liaison

  1. 1 :  a binding or thickening agent used in cooking a butter and flour liaison

  2. 2a :  a close bond or connection :  interrelationshipb :  an illicit sexual relationship :  affair 3a

  3. 3a :  communication for establishing and maintaining mutual understanding and cooperation (as between parts of an armed force)b :  a person who establishes and maintains communication for mutual understanding and cooperation a press liaison

  4. 4 :  the pronunciation of an otherwise absent consonant sound at the end of the first of two consecutive words the second of which begins with a vowel sound and follows without pause

liaison was our Word of the Day on 08/16/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of liaison in a sentence

  1. Today's army works on rotations; soldiers are deployed for about a year and then (in principle at least) they come home. When that happens, local liaisons and intelligence relationships must be rebuilt. —James K. Galbraith, Mother Jones, March/April 2006

  2. I had known Korologos when I was Solicitor General, and he was the Nixon White House's liaison to the Senate. He was a great support. —Robert H. Bork, The Tempting of America, 1990

  3. Gossip columnists began to infer from Evelyn's disappearances that she was engaging in reckless liaisons, and her name was linked with dozens of men around town. —E. L. Doctorow, Ragtime, (1974) 1975

  4. She acts as a liaison between the police department and city schools.

  5. Administrators need to maintain better liaison with employees.

  6. Administrators need to establish a close liaison with employees.

  7. He regretted his liaison with a woman from the office.

Recent Examples of liaison from the web

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Did You Know?

If you took French in school, you might remember that liaison is the term for the phenomenon that causes a silent consonant at the end of one word to sound like it begins the next word when that word begins with a vowel, so that a phrase like beaux arts sounds like "bo zart." We can thank French for the origin of the term, as well. Liaison derives from the Middle French lier, meaning "to bind or tie," and is related to our word liable. Our various English senses of liaison apply it to all kinds of bonds-from people who work to connect different groups to the kind of relationship sometimes entered into by two people who are attracted to one another.

Origin and Etymology of liaison

French, from Middle French, from lier, from Old French

First Known Use: circa 1648

LIAISON Defined for English Language Learners


noun li·ai·son \ˈlē-ə-ˌzän, lē-ˈā-, ÷ˈlā-ə-\

Definition of liaison for English Language Learners

  • : a person who helps organizations or groups to work together and provide information to each other

  • : a relationship that allows different organizations or groups to work together and provide information to each other

  • : a secret sexual relationship

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up liaison? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


feeling or affected by lethargy

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