Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Liaison

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is liaison. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

liaison can mean “a person who helps organizations or groups to work together and provide information to each other” or “a close bond or connection.”

// She acts as a liaison between the mayor’s office and city schools.

// The Human Resources Department has a close liaison with employees.

LIAISON in Context

“It expects to have one staffer stationed in Duluth to begin with, who’ll lead the preservation work here and also serve as a liaison to city councils and others.” — editorial, The Duluth (Minnestoa) News-Tribune, 22 Feb. 2022

Did You Know?

If you took French in school, you might remember that liaison is the word for the phenomenon that causes a silent consonant at the end of one word to sound like it begins the next word when that word begins with a vowel, so that a phrase like beaux arts sounds like \boh zahr\. We can thank French for the origin of the term, as well. Liaison comes from Middle French lier, meaning “to bind or tie.” Other English senses of liaison apply it to all kinds of bonds—from people who work to connect different groups to the kind of relationship sometimes entered into by two people who are attracted to one another.

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