liaison

noun
li·​ai·​son | \ ˈlē-ə-ˌzän How to pronounce liaison (audio) , lē-ˈā- How to pronounce liaison (audio) , nonstandard ˈlā-ə- How to pronounce liaison (audio) \

Definition of liaison

1 : a binding or thickening agent used in cooking a butter and flour liaison
2a : a close bond or connection : interrelationship
b : an illicit sexual relationship : affair sense 3a
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 : 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

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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.

Examples of liaison in a Sentence

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 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 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 She acts as a liaison between the police department and city schools. Administrators need to maintain better liaison with employees. Administrators need to establish a close liaison with employees. He regretted his liaison with a woman from the office.
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Recent Examples on the Web But Beijing's liaison office to the city insisted that, in the case of these disqualifications, no rights have been violated. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Joshua Wong and 11 other activists banned from Hong Kong elections," 30 July 2020 Warm Springs community liaison Butch David and bus driver Erica Crossan, who work for the local school district, step out and hand the students packets filled with papers, each marked with the student’s name. oregonlive, "For Warm Springs students, distance learning hinged on the strength of connections, both human and technological," 14 June 2020 Jennet served as Petersen's liaison for the Marshallese women and lived with them in a Mesa fourplex. Robert Anglen, azcentral, "Former County Assessor Paul Petersen pleads guilty to welfare fraud in international adoption scheme," 18 June 2020 The 10-member committee, which doesn’t have oversight authority over the police department, is designed to advise and serve as a liaison between police and the community. al, "Mobile officials begin examining police policies and procedures in aftermath of George Floyd killing," 10 July 2020 North Korea has also been dialing up pressure on the South, cutting off virtually all cooperation and blowing up an inter-Korean liaison office in its territory last month. Washington Post, "US envoy meets officials in Seoul as Kim honors grandfather," 8 July 2020 The North in recent months have also been ramping up pressure against South Korea, blowing up an inter-Korean liaison office in its territory and threatening to abandon a bilateral military agreement aimed at reducing tensions. Time, "North Korea Says It Has No Plans for Talks With U.S.," 4 July 2020 North Korea’s recent acts of hostility toward South Korea, including the destruction of the inter-Korean liaison office in the North, have been seen in part as acts of economic desperation. Choe Sang-hun, BostonGlobe.com, "In North Korea, coronavirus hurts like no sanctions could," 4 July 2020 The commission’s statement identified the victims as Fatima Khalil, 24, a donor liaison officer, and Jawid Folad, 41, a driver. Washington Post, "Bomb blast kills 2 Afghan human rights commission staffers," 27 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'liaison.' 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 liaison

circa 1648, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for liaison

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

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Time Traveler for liaison

Time Traveler

The first known use of liaison was circa 1648

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Last Updated

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Liaison.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/liaison. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for liaison

liaison

noun
How to pronounce liaison (audio) How to pronounce liaison (audio) How to pronounce liaison (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of liaison

: 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on liaison

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for liaison

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with liaison

Spanish Central: Translation of liaison

Nglish: Translation of liaison for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of liaison for Arabic Speakers

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