liaison

noun

li·​ai·​son lē-ˈā-ˌzän How to pronounce liaison (audio) ˈlē-ə-ˌzän How to pronounce liaison (audio)
nonstandard
ˈlā-ə- How to pronounce liaison (audio)
1
: a binding or thickening agent used in cooking
a butter and flour liaison
2
a
: a close bond or connection : interrelationship
b
: an illicit sexual relationship : affair sense 3a
3
a
: 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.
Recent Examples on the Web The shooting likely involved drugs or weapons sales, said Cincinnati Police Officer Shawn Dent, who works in the department’s neighborhood liaison unit. Quinlan Bentley, The Enquirer, 11 July 2024 Each surrogate was accompanied by a Trump campaign liaison and staffer. Juliegrace Brufke, Axios, 9 July 2024 Saving Monarch Butterflies Through Habitat Restoration, a talk by Tim Martinez, land manager and community liaison for the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Brody Botanical Center at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in San Marino. Jeanette Marantos, Los Angeles Times, 1 July 2024 Studies have shown that vaccines are somewhat protective against getting a COVID infection but very protective against severe disease, Robert Hopkins, MD, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Disease and a liaison to ACIP, told Verywell. Fran Kritz, Verywell Health, 1 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for liaison 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'liaison.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

French, from Middle French, from lier, from Old French

First Known Use

circa 1648, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of liaison was circa 1648

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Dictionary Entries Near liaison

Cite this Entry

“Liaison.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/liaison. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

liaison

noun
li·​ai·​son ˈlē-ə-ˌzän How to pronounce liaison (audio) lē-ˈā- How to pronounce liaison (audio)
1
: a close connection
2
: communication especially between parts of an armed force
3
: a person who sets up or keeps up liaison

More from Merriam-Webster on liaison

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