Origin of liaison
Words nearby liaison
ABOUT THIS WORD
What does liaison mean?
A liaison is a person who acts to arrange and assist interaction between parties. A close synonym is intermediary. A more informal synonym is go-between.
It can also refer to communication, interaction, or a meeting between such parties.
The verb liaise comes from liaison and typically means to act as a liaison by doing such arranging, assisting, and communicating.
But liaison is also used in several other, more specific contexts.
In the context of the military, liaison refers to the contact or connection maintained by communications between units in order to ensure concerted action—or the person who maintains this contact.
In cooking (especially classical French cooking), it can be used as a technical term for the process of thickening sauces, soups, and other dishes, such as by adding eggs, cream, butter, or flour.
Liaison is also a somewhat formal term for a secretive sexual relationship, especially one in which at least one of the partners is cheating on their spouse. A much more common word for this is affair.
Example: In my work as an interdepartmental liaison, I’ve learned that communication and trust are keys to success.
Where does liaison come from?
The first records of the word liaison in English come from the 1600s. It derives from the Latin ligātiōn-, meaning “a binding,” from the Latin verb ligāre, “to tie” or “to bind.” (The verb liaise is a back formation of liaison, meaning liaison came first and was altered to form liaise.)
The word liaison was first used in English in the context of cooking to refer to the thickening of sauces and similar things. Such thickeners, such as egg yolks, are sometimes referred to as binding agents. And in the context of communication between parties, that’s what a liaison acts as—an agent who binds the two parties together in a way that allows for successful communication and interaction. Such liaisons often serve as the go-between for different departments, agencies, or organizations.
This type of facilitation is crucial during military operations, when miscommunication or contradictory orders can have deadly consequences. (In fact, the verb liaise originated as military slang.)
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What are some other forms related to liaison?
- liaise (verb)
What are some synonyms for liaison?
What are some words that share a root or word elements with liaison?
What are some words that often get used in discussing liaison?
How is liaison used in real life?
Liaison is somewhat formal. It is used in several different contexts.
The care coordinators in this program recognize it's unrealistic to expect students who miss weeks of school for mental health reasons to make up all the missed classwork.
So they act as a liaison between student and teacher — ironing out a make-up plan. https://t.co/Q2ka6lc4cR
— NPR (@NPR) February 17, 2020
What it's like to work as a liaison between those without Internet access and places that offer it https://t.co/ObKTppp6iP
— Pacific Standard (@PacificStand) April 18, 2016
NEW: South Korea's Unification Ministry confirms that North Korea has blown up the inter-Korean liaison office, which had served as a de facto embassy between the two Koreas.
— William Gallo (@GalloVOA) June 16, 2020
Try using liaison!
Is liaison used correctly in the following sentence?
We need to arrange a liaison between all parties to start discussion.
How to use liaison in a sentence
Rachel Kropa, former head of the CAA Foundation who joined Footprint Coalition to lead scientific and philanthropic efforts last year, will serve as the fund’s Impact Advisor and liaison to the scientific and research communities.Robert Downey Jr. is launching a new ‘rolling’ venture fund to back sustainability startups|Jonathan Shieber|January 27, 2021|TechCrunch
When the committee went ahead and voted for Garland to be co-chair, “the state liaison staff indicated the member was too disabled for the travel involved in state meetings and therefore couldn’t be the chair of the committee,” Lawrence wrote.They Made a Revolutionary System to Protect People With Developmental Disabilities. Now It’s Falling Apart.|by Amy Silverman for Arizona Daily Star|December 12, 2020|ProPublica
A sheriff’s liaison said the department does “spot checks” to see if deputies are following guidelines and conducts an annual audit that involves pulling incidents for review.Morning Report: Review Board Scolds Sheriff Over Body Cameras|Voice of San Diego|November 23, 2020|Voice of San Diego
The city’s police and fire chiefs serve as the liaisons to the commission, meaning it’s precisely the opposite of an independent group.Coastal Anxieties Run Deep in Oceanside Mayor’s Race|Kayla Jimenez|October 12, 2020|Voice of San Diego
Drummond’s departure came after romantic liaisons with subordinates, and complaints from employees that senior men at the company enjoyed impunity when it came to inappropriate behavior.Google names Halimah DeLaine Prado as new general counsel|Jeff|August 25, 2020|Fortune
Piece Co. will then seamlessly source the artisans and be your liaison for collaboration.Q&A With Designer Rachel Roy|Cynthia Allum|November 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Hollande officially left Royal for Trierweiler in 2007, although their liaison began in 2005.Hollande's Jilted Lover Valerie Trierweiler Tells All|Tracy McNicoll|September 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Politico reported over the weekend that Sharpton is the de facto liaison for the White House regarding the shooting in Ferguson.There's No Such Thing as 'Black America'|Ron Christie|August 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He pressured one woman to seek an abortion following their liaison.Why Do Voters Stick With Hypocrites Like Scott DesJarlais?|Keli Goff|August 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Suddenly, in the midst of their liaison, Brody notices his SUV parked outside the window.‘Homeland’: The 7 Plot Points You Need to Remember for the Season 3 Premiere|Andrew Romano|September 27, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Such an act would be of a piece with Nigel's character, whereas a liaison—and yet Nigel was no saint.Bella Donna|Robert Hichens
In 1842, after his liaison with Mme. de la Baudraye, Lousteau lived maritally with her.Repertory Of The Comedie Humaine, Complete, A -- Z|Anatole Cerfberr and Jules Franois Christophe
Not caring what the result might be, she publicly proclaimed our liaison, and I had come to live entirely at her house.
Perhaps some day when you were bored or worried you would fancy you saw a carefully concerted plan in our liaison.
But the serene blissfulness of the first days of their liaison was of short duration.Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician|Frederick Niecks