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

The staffer reportedly served as Feinstein’s driver, but also took on additional responsibilities in the office, such as working as a liaison to the Asian-American community in California. Brooke Singman, Fox News, "Graham rips FBI for briefing Feinstein on alleged Chinese spy, but keeping Trump in dark on Russians," 17 Aug. 2018 When assigned to Elmwood Park High School,the SRO will also serve as a liaison to the River Grove Police Department, under the agreement. Pioneer Press,, "Elmwood Park District 401 to get first school resource officer," 7 July 2018 Burton described his new role in Phoenix as a liaison among community leaders, the community at large and the newsroom. azcentral, "Greg Burton named editor of The Arizona Republic,," 23 Apr. 2018 In January, Trump appointed the former mayor to lead a task force on cybersecurity and serve as liaison to private industry on those issues. Carolyn Mcatee Cerbin, USA TODAY, "Rudy Giuliani's third wife files for divorce after 15 years," 4 Apr. 2018 Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation in September 2017 establishing an Office of Nightlife to serve as a liaison between the city and nightlife operators, workers and customers. Kate King, WSJ, "New York City’s Nightlife Economy Is Thriving, Study Finds," 24 Jan. 2019 Cobb, who sports a trademark mustache, served as the president’s internal legal counsel and acted as a liaison between the White House and Mueller’s office. John Roberts, Fox News, "Ty Cobb to leave Trump's legal team, be replaced by Clinton impeachment lawyer," 2 Oct. 2018 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

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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Last Updated

23 May 2019

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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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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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