[lee-ey-zawn, lee-uh-zon, -zuh n or, often, ley-; lee-ey-zuh n, -zon; French lye-zawn]
See more synonyms for liaison on
noun, plural li·ai·sons [lee-ey-zawnz, lee-uh-zonz, -zuh nz or, often, ley-; lee-ey-zuh nz, -zonz; French lye-zawn] /ˌli eɪˈzɔ̃z, ˈli əˌzɒnz, -zənz or, often, ˈleɪ-; liˈeɪ zənz, -zɒnz; French lyɛˈzɔ̃/.
  1. the contact or connection maintained by communications between units of the armed forces or of any other organization in order to ensure concerted action, cooperation, etc.
  2. a person who initiates and maintains such a contact or connection.
  3. an illicit sexual relationship.
  4. Cookery. the process of thickening sauces, soups, etc., as by the addition of eggs, cream, butter, or flour.
  5. Phonetics. a speech-sound redistribution, occurring especially in French, in which an otherwise silent final consonant is articulated as the initial sound of a following syllable that begins with a vowel or with a silent h, as the z- and n-sounds in Je suis un homme [zhuh swee zœ nawm] ə swi zœ ˈnɔm/.

Origin of liaison

1640–50; < French, Old French < Latin ligātiōn- (stem of ligātiō) a binding. See ligation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for liaison

Contemporary Examples of liaison

Historical Examples of liaison

  • The offspring of a liaison between a bald head and a bank account.

  • His son, who was then at Court with him, was, upon the pretext of a liaison with Mdlle.


    Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld

  • A liaison between her and Flory led to the ruin of the latter on the Stock Exchange.

    A Zola Dictionary

    J. G. Patterson

  • He speaks of “the liaison” with all the rude simplicity and frankness of the Arabian Nights.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • The first-class citizens who owned the plants had their own liaison.

    Final Weapon

    Everett B. Cole

British Dictionary definitions for liaison


  1. communication and contact between groups or units
  2. (modifier) of or relating to liaison between groups or unitsa liaison officer
  3. a secretive or adulterous sexual relationship
  4. one who acts as an agent between parties; intermediary
  5. the relationship between military units necessary to ensure unity of purpose
  6. (in the phonology of several languages, esp French) the pronunciation of a normally silent consonant at the end of a word immediately before another word commencing with a vowel, in such a way that the consonant is taken over as the initial sound of the following word. Liaison is seen between French ils (il) and ont (ɔ̃), to give ils ont (il zɔ̃)
  7. any thickening for soups, sauces, etc, such as egg yolks or cream

Word Origin for liaison

C17: via French from Old French, from lier to bind, from Latin ligāre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for liaison

1640s, from French liaison "a union, a binding together" (13c.), from Late Latin ligationem (nominative ligatio) "a binding," from past participle stem of Latin ligare "to bind" (see ligament). Originally a cookery term for a thickening agent for sauces. Sense of "intimate relations" is from 1806. Military sense of "cooperation between branches, allies, etc." is from 1816. The noun meaning "one who is concerned with liaison of units, etc." is short for liaison officer.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper