liaison

noun

li·​ai·​son lē-ˈā-ˌzän How to pronounce liaison (audio) ˈlē-ə-ˌzän How to pronounce liaison (audio)
nonstandard
ˈlā-ə- How to pronounce liaison (audio)
1
: a binding or thickening agent used in cooking
a butter and flour liaison
2
a
: a close bond or connection : interrelationship
b
: an illicit sexual relationship : affair sense 3a
3
a
: 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

Did you know?

If you took French in school, you might remember that liaison is the word 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 \boh zahr\. We can thank French for the origin of the term, as well. Liaison comes from Middle French lier, meaning "to bind or tie." Other 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web In an interview with Fox News Digital last week, Col. Moshe Tetro, who heads the army’s coordination and liaison administration (CLA) for Gaza, said such claims were politically motivated, and that each organization or individual was pushing their own interests. Ruth Marks Eglash, Fox News, 27 Jan. 2024 All live in Overland Park Friends Sam Evans, Kansas City, smokes sausage and is the team’s official culinary liaison, and Richard Alspaugh, Lenexa, assists with pork. Kimberly Winter Stern, Kansas City Star, 24 Jan. 2024 By 2018, the department was paying another female district community liaison nearly $23,000 more than the man, according to the lawsuit. Julia Marnin, Miami Herald, 23 Jan. 2024 But House and Senate leaders could get around this by sending messages through their party liaisons, who were on standby at the Hampton Inn. House Speaker Jinkins texted her liaison, requesting a mapping tweak desired by two local Democratic officials, who shared a home in Tacoma. Marilyn W. Thompson, ProPublica, 18 Jan. 2024 In addition to being the lead liaison with Disney/ABC, Melidonian heads up Oscars ad sales, marketing, and strategies supporting audience growth globally. Clayton Davis, Variety, 9 Jan. 2024 Even so, Susan reveals that Theresa, who is a senior compliance and operations liaison at a securities company, hasn’t taken time off from her day job, wrangling it on top of promotional commitments to ABC/Warner Bros. and preparing for a new life and home with Gerry. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, 2 Jan. 2024 Their role is to serve as liaisons between the young citizens of Saratoga and the city council. Isha Trivedi, The Mercury News, 28 Jan. 2024 Suggest closer monitoring of associates and effective liaison with National Archives personnel. David Harsanyi, National Review, 25 Jan. 2024 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

circa 1648, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of liaison was circa 1648

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Dictionary Entries Near liaison

Cite this Entry

“Liaison.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/liaison. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

liaison

noun
li·​ai·​son ˈlē-ə-ˌzän How to pronounce liaison (audio) lē-ˈā- How to pronounce liaison (audio)
1
: a close connection
2
: communication especially between parts of an armed force
3
: a person who sets up or keeps up liaison

More from Merriam-Webster on liaison

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