li·​ai·​son | \ˈlē-ə-ˌzän, lē-ˈā-, nonstandard ˈlā-ə- \

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

Ruis said via text to his Derby press liaison, Hank Wesch. Bryce Miller,, "Change of plan: Bolt d'Oro aiming toward Preakness if track, training cooperate," 10 May 2018 The command center is focusing on the logistics of moving people and equipment to the Upper Peninsula, as well serving as a liaison for agencies operating in the area, George said. Marc Daalder, Detroit Free Press, "Gov. Snyder declares 'state of disaster' for 2 U.P. counties," 18 June 2018 Barger worked as a patient safety liaison for the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, and previously served as risk management director for the Main Line and Jefferson Health systems. Erin Mccarthy,, "A trail of blood and a murder mystery in a Berwyn widow's death," 26 May 2018 Witherspoon is an attorney who serves as legal liaison for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. Jim Newton, Lake County News-Sun, "Gurnee removed from Southern Poverty Law Center hate map: 'There was no evidence'," 11 May 2018 Philippe Bouchet is a modern-day bio-explorer and liaison for undiscovered species. Michael Stone, Discover Magazine, "The Animal Collective," 9 May 2018 Maria Grycan, a community services liaison for L.A. County Fire Department's Division III, said the call came in shortly after 4 p.m. about a fire on the 600 block of Durwood Drive. Sara Cardine,, "Combustion inside truck bed causes $52,000 in damages on Durwood Drive," 8 May 2018 Raquel has also served as Del Sur Elementary’s liaison for PUSD’s new literacy adoption and mentors student teachers. Emily Sorensen, Pomerado News, "PUSD announces 2018 District Teachers of the Year," 28 Mar. 2018 Prior to the state treasurer's office, Meyers-Martin worked as district liaison for former state Rep. David Miller in the 29th District. Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, "Apparent winner of 38th House race sets sights on more warehouse developments, third airport," 21 Mar. 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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Statistics for liaison

Last Updated

24 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for liaison

The first known use of liaison was circa 1648

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More Definitions for liaison



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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Comments on liaison

What made you want to look up liaison? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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