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[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)
1640-50; < French, Old French < Latin ligātiōn- (stem of ligātiō) a binding. See ligation Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for liaisons
  • As time goes on, former students and postdocs will provide contacts, as will liaisons from industry.
  • Both firms boasted this week of liaisons with others.
  • We can't rely solely on press offices and journalists to be our liaisons to the rest of the world.
  • Tanner's spokesman said the group reimbursed the military liaisons.
  • Securing romantic liaisons probably need not as much skill as all that.
  • Tells about his many liaisons outside his marriage.
  • Stars in those days acted out studio-created liaisons, while their private lives remained mostly out of sight.
  • M pit stop at a greasy spoon and boasted of their various liaisons over cheese fries.
  • These photographs revealed that not only are liaisons with larger females more likely, they're also more successful.
  • Today, our genes testify to these prehistoric liaisons.
British Dictionary definitions for liaisons


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
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Word Origin and History for liaisons



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
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