View synonyms for liaison


[ lee-ey-zawn, lee-uh-zon, -zuhnor, often, ley-; lee-ey-zuhn, -zon; French lye-zawn ]


, plural li·ai·sons [lee-ey-, zawnz, lee, -, uh, -zonz, -z, uh, nz, ley, -, lee-, ey, -z, uh, nz, -zonz, lye-, zawn].
  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. Cooking. 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 [zh, uh, sweez, œ, -, nawm].


/ lɪˈeɪzɒn /


  1. communication and contact between groups or units
  2. modifier of or relating to liaison between groups or units

    a 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

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of liaison1

First recorded in 1640–50; from French, Old French, from Latin ligātiōn-, stem of ligātiō “a binding”; ligation

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of liaison1

C17: via French from Old French, from lier to bind, from Latin ligāre

Discover More

Example Sentences

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.

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.

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.

The city’s police and fire chiefs serve as the liaisons to the commission, meaning it’s precisely the opposite of an independent group.

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.

From 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.

Politico reported over the weekend that Sharpton is the de facto liaison for the White House regarding the shooting in Ferguson.

He pressured one woman to seek an abortion following their liaison.

Suddenly, in the midst of their liaison, Brody notices his SUV parked outside the window.

Such an act would be of a piece with Nigel's character, whereas a liaison—and yet Nigel was no saint.

In 1842, after his liaison with Mme. de la Baudraye, Lousteau lived maritally with her.

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.


Related Words

Discover More

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.)

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to liaison?

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.



Try using liaison!

Is liaison used correctly in the following sentence?

We need to arrange a liaison between all parties to start discussion.

Word of the Day


[ak-suh-lot-l ]

Meaning and examples

Start each day with the Word of the Day in your inbox!

By clicking "Sign Up", you are accepting Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies.




liaiseliaison officer