Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An instance or a means of communication between different groups or units of an organization, especially in the armed forces.
  • n. One that maintains communication: served as the President's liaison with Congress.
  • n. A close relationship, connection, or link.
  • n. An adulterous relationship; an affair.
  • n. Linguistics Pronunciation of the usually silent final consonant of a word when followed by a word beginning with a vowel, especially in French.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Communication between two parties or groups.
  • n. Co-operation, working together.
  • n. A relayer of information between two forces in an army or during war.
  • n. A tryst, romantic meeting.
  • n. An illicit sexual relationship or affair.
  • n. A sandhi in which a normally silent final consonant is pronounced when the next word begins with a vowel.
  • v. To liaise.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A union, or bond of union; an intimacy; an interrelationship.
  • n. An illicit sexual relation between a man and a woman; a sexual afffair.
  • n. A process of communication between parts of an organization or between two organizations acting together for a common purpose.
  • n. A person whose function it is to maintain such communication.
  • n. A pronunciation of a consonant sound that would be otherwise silent, such as the final consonant of certain French words, when the following word begins with a vowel sound.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A bond of union; an intimacy; entanglement; commonly, an illicit intimacy between a man and a woman.
  • n. In the French language, the linking or joining in pronunciation of a final consonant, usually silent, to the succeeding word when that begins with a vowel: for example, vous (vö) and avez, when coming together, are pronounced vö zavā.
  • n. In cookery, a thickening, generally of beaten eggs, intended to combine or amalgamate the ingredients of a dish.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a usually secretive or illicit sexual relationship
  • n. a channel for communication between groups

Etymologies

French, from Old French, from Latin ligātiō, ligātiōn-, from ligātus, past participle of ligāre, to bind; see ligate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French liaison ("binding"), from Latin ligatio (stem ligation-) (English ligation), derived from ligō, from Proto-Indo-European *leygʰ- (“to bind”). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Now, often, CIA agents have what they call a liaison relationship with the host government.

    CNN Transcript Nov 4, 2009

  • And what they call liaison officers, that is intelligence officers, and friendly intelligence services.

    CNN Transcript Aug 24, 2006

  • It's good cross-talking, and we're sharing what we call liaison officers to cross-talk and make sure we're doing things correctly.

    CNN Transcript Sep 24, 2005

  • To name both the act of thickening and the agents of thickening, early French cooks used the word liaison, which meant a close connection or bond, whether physical, political, or amorous.

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • CHAMBLISS: Certainly, Wolf, the top priority is infiltrating terrorist organizations with human assets, people who work for us, rather than depending on what we refer to as liaison assets, people from other countries who work for other intelligence organizations, providing us with information.

    CNN Transcript Nov 23, 2003

  • RUMSFELD: I think it is certainly likely that they could be doing something other than what you characterize as liaison work.

    CNN Transcript Dec 13, 2001

  • Dutocq had seen with great uneasiness what he called the liaison of des Lupeaulx with Madame Rabourdin, and his silent wrath on the subject was accumulating.

    Bureaucracy

  • (More on the French word "liaison" at the excellent L'internaute. com)

    French Word-A-Day:

  • More on the French word "liaison" at the excellent L'internaute.com

    French Word-A-Day:

  • And liaison is not supposed to occur between preceding words and those following which begin with H aspiree.

    l'accent tonique - French Word-A-Day

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Comments

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  • The spelling of this word looks really funny.

    November 13, 2008

  • “The process of thickening a sauce, soup or stew. This includes all rouxs, starch and water mixtures (slurries), beurre marni and egg yolks with or without cream. Egg yolks must be tempered with hot liquid before adding to the liquid in order to prevent curdling.�?

    That's from this glossary. I'd previously only been familiar with the weirdnet definitions.

    November 13, 2008