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

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 the Republican primary, Martell Bivings, who has worked as a liaison with the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, was unopposed and will face the Democratic winner in November. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, 3 Aug. 2022 The members of the board attending the meeting that night voted to install a trustee to serve as a liaison for legal discussions with the supervisor, and also called for the resignation of township attorney Keri-Lyn J. Krafthefer. Daniel I. Dorfman, Chicago Tribune, 26 July 2022 Given his 18-plus years of experience in the NFL, Fabianich’s role is expected to include duties as a liaison to the league as Auburn works to prepare players for the next level. Tom Green |, al, 11 July 2022 As treasurer, Malerba’s duties will include oversight of the U.S. Mint, serving as a liaison with the Federal Reserve and overseeing Treasury’s Office of Consumer Policy. Fatima Hussein, Anchorage Daily News, 30 June 2022 But on May 14, Ken Bennett, former Arizona secretary of state and the Senate's liaison to the audit, walked back the claim that Maricopa County spoiled evidence by deleting election databases and other files. Daniel Funke, USA TODAY, 18 May 2021 Bennett, the Senate's audit liaison, confirmed that former Arizona Republican State Representative Anthony Kern is no longer counting ballots. Kris Van Cleave, CBS News, 14 May 2021 Ken Bennett, a former Republican secretary of state who is serving as the Senate's liaison to the auditors, dismissed mounting criticism., 10 May 2021 Hobbs on Wednesday sent a letter to the Senate's liaison to its recount contractor, former Secretary of State Ken Bennett, formally laying out a series of problems with the policies. Bob Christie, Star Tribune, 5 May 2021 See More

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.

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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The first known use of liaison was circa 1648

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liaison aircraft

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Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Liaison.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on liaison

Nglish: Translation of liaison for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of liaison for Arabic Speakers


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