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

Edsall meets with the team’s academic liaison every Monday. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Behind The Scenes With Randy Edsall: Inside Look At A Football Coach Rebuilding UConn Program," 24 Apr. 2018 South Korea last week opened a liaison office in the North's city of Kaesong, near the Demilitarized Zone. Fox News, "Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang for potentially tough talks," 18 Sep. 2018 The first part consists of ways to improve inter-Korean relations — like opening a joint liaison office — before tackling denuclearization issues. Alex Ward, Vox, "A North Korea nuclear deal looks more likely to happen now. Here’s why.," 6 Sep. 2018 Meyers-Martin has held a number of positions in the treasurer's office, including serving as the office's liaison to chambers of commerce. Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, "Apparent winner of 38th House race sets sights on more warehouse developments, third airport," 21 Mar. 2018 Indianapolis' most visible African American radical in the 1960s led sit-ins at the governor's office, was busted for drugs several times and later went to work for Mayor Richard Lugar as a liaison to the black community. Will Higgins, Indianapolis Star, "A dominatrix, a 'Broom Guy,' a 'Beeper King': Meet 23 Hoosier oddballs and characters," 8 Jan. 2018 Von Reichbauer acted as the liaison between the city and Allen’s representatives. Larry Stone, The Seattle Times, "Paul Allen was a knight in shining armor for the Seahawks and Seattle," 15 Oct. 2018 Guy is the official liaison between the community and the team monitoring the city’s consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department. Kevin Rector, baltimoresun.com, "Body cameras from Suiter investigation show Baltimore residents living under police watch," 30 Apr. 2018 With the full cooperation of the U.S. Air Force and the Crescent Rouge, Blanche became a liaison between American and Moroccan children. Orlando Sentinel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Deaths in Central Florida: 4/1," 1 Apr. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near liaison

liableness

Liagora

liaise

liaison

liaison aircraft

liana

liang

Statistics for liaison

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for liaison

The first known use of liaison was circa 1648

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More Definitions for liaison

liaison

noun

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with liaison

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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