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

Daniel Meyer, the department’s liaison to the LGBTQ community. Lyndsay Winkley, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Hate crimes cataloged: Five years of malice and spite in San Diego County," 30 Aug. 2019 The secretary also serves as the official repository of public and corporate records, chief international protocol officer and Abbott’s liaison for Mexican and border affairs. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, "Texas Gov. Greg Abbott taps Hispanic former aide as secretary of state after noncitizen voter flap," 19 Aug. 2019 Buttigieg started at Bagram air base, where his military colleagues worked, then moved to Kabul to serve as the unit's liaison to U.S. and NATO headquarters. Author: Steve Hendrix, Joshua Partlow, Anchorage Daily News, "How Pete Buttigieg went from war protester to ‘packing my bags for Afghanistan’," 29 July 2019 Calvin Miller, executive director of the Talladega County Economic Development Authority, served as a liaison on the project. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al.com, "Sylacauga begins work on $1.35 million spec building," 25 July 2019 Others continued on; by Sunday night, a group had reached the office of Beijing’s liaison to the city. Riley Beggin, Vox, "Extradition and independence: What’s behind the continued protests in Hong Kong," 21 July 2019 Councilwoman Carolyn Zinner, the council’s liaison to the commission, thanked the members for their work in putting on the festivities and community events earlier in the year to raise money for the Independence Day celebration. David Anderson, baltimoresun.com, "Havre de Grace mayor asks residents to hold off on reserving spots for Independence Day parade," 4 July 2019 The meeting began with a request from Maria Lanza, the city’s neighborhood liaison, to speak in turn, hold their applause to the end, and keep their emotions in check. Emily Williams, BostonGlobe.com, "Starbucks takes shots over plan to open in the North End," 29 June 2018 The city’s new policies don’t address the issue of City Council members being appointed as liaisons to the board of nonprofits that receive community grants. Gustavo Solis, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Coronado overhauls oversight rules for community grants," 23 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

12 Sep 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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