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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Aller worked his way up, from liaison and advisor on business and basketball operations to a full-time front office role in 2013-14. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Why Brock Aller chose to join New York Knicks and what it means for Cleveland Cavaliers," 10 May 2020 Initially, Lira was serving as a liaison and translator between doctors and Zully's family. NBC News, "Connecticut teacher cares for student's baby brother as family recovers from coronavirus," 7 May 2020 Dale Cabaniss resigned because of how he was treated by the head of the Presidential Personnel Office, John McEntee, and the new White House liaison and senior adviser to the director of OPM, Paul Dans, according to Politico. Caitlin Yilek, Washington Examiner, "OPM chief abruptly resigns," 17 Mar. 2020 Watson is a wealthy New Zealander whose liaisons with models, and a bathroom fight with actor Russell Crowe, have been occasional tabloid fodder. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "The FBI thinks Long Island Iced Tea’s infamous pivot to blockchain was sweetened by insider trading," 25 July 2019 Savannah Kelly was promoted to executive liaison and legislative coordinator at Volunteer Florida. Orlando Sentinel,, "People on the move 06/01," 31 May 2018 The possibility of Abbott working on his own to reopen businesses was always present, said District 3 Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, the council’s liaison to the economic transition panel. Joshua Fechter,, "Big-footed by Gov. Greg Abbott, San Antonio panel to release its own guidelines for business reopening," 5 May 2020 Through it all, Hoskins was quietly caring for her sister, a previously healthy 46-year-old community liaison at Bellevue Hospital who contracted COVID-19 in late March. Erin Richards, USA TODAY, "Teacher Appreciation Week: They wanted respect. It only took a coronavirus pandemic and worldwide economic collapse.," 4 May 2020 The consultants manage high-net-worth client accounts and account teams, and act as liaison between customer and Fidelity to drive customer satisfaction. Chris Mayhew,, "Fidelity seeks to hire 300 more people in Northern Kentucky," 14 Apr. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about liaison

Time Traveler for liaison

Time Traveler

The first known use of liaison was circa 1648

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about liaison

Statistics for liaison

Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Liaison.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for liaison


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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on liaison

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!