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) \

Essential Meaning of liaison

1 : a person who helps organizations or groups to work together and provide information to each other She acts as a liaison between the police department and city schools.
2 : a relationship that allows different organizations or groups to work together and provide information to each other Administrators need to maintain better/closer liaison with employees. Administrators need to establish a close liaison with employees.
3 : a secret sexual relationship : affair He regretted his liaison with a woman from the office. sexual liaisons

Full 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 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 Biden has named former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu as the liaison between the White House and the states to help ensure things run smoothly and to prevent waste and fraud. chicagotribune.com, 16 Nov. 2021 The undefined role will allow Wondolowski to have a hand in many aspects of the team, being a kind of liaison between the locker room and the front office. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Nov. 2021 Angels For Higher acts as a liaison between local Down syndrome associations and sports teams, to help identify candidates for jobs. José M. Romero, The Arizona Republic, 20 Sep. 2021 Valencia-Banks will be responsible for partnering with community stakeholders to promote community well-being of immigrant communities across the county and serve as a liaison for those communities, according to a Monday announcement. Cameron Goodnight, baltimoresun.com, 17 Nov. 2021 Nigel Swaby, a real estate agent, was the first to be eliminated, followed by Daniel Tuutau, a liaison for nonprofits. Matt Canham, The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Nov. 2021 Sean Humphrey now works as a community liaison for Calvary Healing Center, using his experience to help others going through similar issues. Stephanie Innes, The Arizona Republic, 20 Oct. 2021 When Obama was elected, Penn left House to take a job as a liaison to Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, young Americans and the arts community in the White House. Kara Warner, PEOPLE.com, 3 Nov. 2021 He was named vice president for administration in 2004, serving as a liaison to the Board of Trustees and overseeing multiple university departments. Lillian Reed, baltimoresun.com, 20 Oct. 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.

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near liaison

liaise

liaison

liaison aircraft

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for liaison

Last Updated

5 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Liaison.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/liaison. Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on liaison

Nglish: Translation of liaison for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of liaison for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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