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 Pyongyang voiced its displeasure over a similar operation last year by demolishing a joint liaison office used for talks between the two Koreas. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, 1 May 2021 Gaetz did catch a break when his former military liaison stepped up to defend him. al, 6 Apr. 2021 Tarrio, 33, promoted Stone's legal defense fund, launched an online store selling Stone and Proud Boys gear and led Latinos for Trump in Florida, which worked with the White House's political liaison office. Devlin Barrett, BostonGlobe.com, 20 Feb. 2021 Fox News is told members of Congress who want security should call the Capitol Hill Police, which calls a TSA liaison, who then calls or inputs the request in the air marshal's mission operations computer. William La Jeunesse, Fox News, 16 May 2021 Ken Bennett, who the Arizona Senate named as its liaison for the recount of Maricopa County ballots, is a familiar figure in the state's Republican political circles. Paulina Pineda, The Arizona Republic, 28 Apr. 2021 President Joe Biden on Wednesday named Erika Moritsugu, a Capitol Hill veteran and vice president of a women’s rights advocacy group, as his liaison to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Alexandra Jaffe, ajc, 15 Apr. 2021 Bedsole’s role will include communicating with high school coaches and principals, being Auburn’s pro football liaison, organizing pro day and handling summer camps among other tasks. Ben Thomas | Bthomas@al.com, al, 9 Apr. 2021 In a calm tone, someone Kuttab described as his liaison in the intelligence services, asked about the story, making clear it had not been appreciated. Washington Post, 8 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for liaison

Time Traveler

The first known use of liaison was circa 1648

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Last Updated

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Liaison.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/liaison. Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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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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