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

Several former staffers of the Koch network now work in the Trump administration, including White House legislative liaison Marc Short, ensuring that the allied groups have a seat at the table. Washington Post, "‘The movement now transcends the Kochs.’ What David Koch’s departure means for the political network he helped build.," 7 June 2018 Farenthold will act as a full-time legislative liaison working to secure approval for the port's expansion, the state agency told the Caller-Times in a statement. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "Disgraced ex-Rep. Blake Farenthold illegally hired to new lobbying job, lawsuit claims," 21 May 2018 Sources said Bohl is being seriously considered to take the job previously held by Kimberly Montgomery as the mayor's legislative liaison. Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Ald. Jim Bohl expected to get city lobbyist job, setting off scramble for seat," 16 May 2018 If McConnell’s warning was not clear enough, Marc Short, the White House’s legislative liaison, used the dinner to offer an even starker assessment. Kevin Freking, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump takes aim at familiar targets at Michigan rally," 28 Apr. 2018 Two candidates filed for the District C seat, encompassing greater Bel Air and Forest Hill, Jim Antal and Kathryn Carmello, the latter previously served as a legislative liaison for HCPS. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Harford school board makeup headed for major changes in next 16 months," 2 Mar. 2018 The White House’s budget director and legislative liaison made the rounds at the Capitol. Philip Elliott, Time, "The People Who Started the Shutdown Don't Know How to End It," 22 Jan. 2018 Edsall meets with the team’s academic liaison every Monday. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Behind The Scenes With Randy Edsall: Inside Look At A Football Coach Rebuilding UConn Program," 24 Apr. 2018 South Korea last week opened a liaison office in the North's city of Kaesong, near the Demilitarized Zone. Fox News, "Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang for potentially tough talks," 18 Sep. 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

11 Apr 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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