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

The company adopted the Wilder Center and designated McNamara to be the corporate liaison. Bob Shaw, Twin Cities, "Giving is living: Twin Cities No. 1 in volunteering," 13 July 2019 Tocchet, who will enter his third season as the Coyotes' head coach, said during the team's exit day in April that the Coyotes could look to hire a coach to be a liaison to the players. Richard Morin, azcentral, "Arizona Coyotes to hire former Sabres coach Phil Housley as assistant," 20 June 2019 Day oversees the city’s 49 public policy boards and commissions and is a liaison on the homeland security issues of violent extremism and targeted violence. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Square dance club holds community hoedowns ...North County events," 5 June 2019 Kupec confirmed that the office of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who intends to leave the department in the coming weeks, continues to be the primary liaison between the special counsel and Barr. Chris Strohm,, "Trump's New Attorney General Won't Recuse Himself in Mueller Probe," 4 Mar. 2019 Berding, along with several community residents and former Mayor Mark Mallory, who lives in the neighborhood and is a club liaison for the neighborhood, spent several hours Saturday knocking on West End doors, talking to residents. Sharon Coolidge,, "West End Community Council to outsiders on FC Cincinnati stadium issue: Back off," 11 Feb. 2018 Executives at the most vocally pro-democracy newspaper, Apple Daily, say the Chinese government’s liaison office has told large companies to pull advertising. Austin Ramzy, New York Times, "On Hong Kong Handover Anniversary, Many Fear Loss of Freedoms," 1 July 2019 Working between the indie label's New York and London offices, Adebiyi will oversee the cross section between A&R and marketing by working as a liaison between artists and the marketing team. Hannah Malach, Billboard, "Executive Turntable: Moves at SoundCloud, Partisan Records & More," 1 July 2019 But Trump closed the Washington liaison office in September 2018. Joseph Hincks / Hebron, Time, "Palestinians Are Not Buying What Jared Kushner Is Selling," 30 June 2019

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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Statistics for liaison

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for liaison

The first known use of liaison was circa 1648

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More Definitions for liaison



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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