Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[lee-ey-zawn, lee-uh-zon, -zuh n or, often, ley-; lee-ey-zuh n, -zon; French lye-zawn] /ˌli eɪˈzɔ̃, ˈli əˌzɒn, -zən or, often, ˈleɪ-; liˈeɪ zən, -zɒn; French lyɛˈzɔ̃/
noun, plural liaisons
[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/ (Show IPA)
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.
a person who initiates and maintains such a contact or connection.
an illicit sexual relationship.
Cookery. the process of thickening sauces, soups, etc., as by the addition of eggs, cream, butter, or flour.
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] /ʒə swi zœ ˈnɔm/ (Show IPA)
Origin of liaison
1640-50; < French, Old French < Latin ligātiōn- (stem of ligātiō) a binding. See ligation Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for liaison
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The offspring of a liaison between a bald head and a bank account.

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
  • His son, who was then at Court with him, was, upon the pretext of a liaison with Mdlle.

    Reflections 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


communication and contact between groups or units
(modifier) of or relating to liaison between groups or units: a liaison officer
a secretive or adulterous sexual relationship
one who acts as an agent between parties; intermediary
the relationship between military units necessary to ensure unity of purpose
(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)
any thickening for soups, sauces, etc, such as egg yolks or cream
Word Origin
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for liaison

Word Value for liaison

Scrabble Words With Friends