noun, plural li·ai·sons [lee-ey-zawnz, lee-uh-zonz, -zuhnz or, often, ley-; lee-ey-zuhnz, -zonz; French lye-zawn]. /ˌli eɪˈzɔ̃z, ˈli əˌzɒnz, -zənz or, often, ˈleɪ-; liˈeɪ zənz, -zɒnz; French lyɛˈzɔ̃/.
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Origin of liaison
Words nearby liaison
ABOUT THIS WORD
What does liaison mean?
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.
Example sentences from the Web for liaison
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.
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
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
My job was to actually draft the ceasefire and serve as liaison with Arafat's envoy in the process—Hani al-Hassan.
Kennedy called him out of retirement to act as a liaison with Charles de Gaulle during the Cuban Missile Crisis.What Will Hillary Clinton Do After Leaving the State Department?|Josh Dzieza|January 28, 2012|DAILY BEAST
Every one indeed knew that he had a liaison with a beggar woman, to whom he gave ten kopecks every six months.The House of the Dead or Prison Life in Siberia|Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Liaison is maintained at all points, but the attack varies from time to time.Artificial Light|M. Luckiesh
To secure his silence they invited him constantly to their house, and a liaison with Severine followed.A Zola Dictionary|J. G. Patterson
There was a lean, hard-bitten colonel of the American liaison force in Greece.The Invaders|William Fitzgerald Jenkins
Her biographers usually pass over this liaison quickly, as information about it was not forthcoming.