- An example of hierarchy is the corporate ladder.
- An example of hierarchy is the various levels of priests in the Catholic church.
- a system of church government by priests or other clergy in graded ranks
- the group of officials, esp. the highest officials, in such a system
- a group of persons or things arranged in order of rank, grade, class, etc.
Origin of hierarchyaltered (modeled on Gr) ; from Middle English ierarchie ; from Old French jerarchie ; from Ecclesiastical Medieval Latin hierarchia ; from Ecclesiastical Late Greek power or rule of a hierarch ; from Classical Greek hierarchēs: see hierarch
- A group of persons or things organized into successive ranks or grades with each level subordinate to the one above: a career spent moving up through the military hierarchy.
- Categorization or arrangement of a group of people or things into such ranks or grades: classification by hierarchy; discounting the effects of hierarchy.
- A body of persons having authority: “his relations with Hitler and the Nazi hierarchy” (John Kenneth Galbraith).
- A group of animals in which certain members or subgroups dominate or submit to others.
- One of three main divisions of angels in traditional Christian angelology.
Origin of hierarchyMiddle English ierarchie, from Old French, from Medieval Latin hierarchia, from Greek hierarkhiā, rule of a high priest, from hierarkhēs, high priest; see hierarch.
From Old French ierarchie (French hiérarchie), from Latin hierarchia, from Ancient Greek ἱεραρχία (hierarkhia, “rule of a high priest”), from ἱεράρχης (hierarkhēs, “high priest”), from ἱερεύς (hiereus, “priest”) and ἀρχή (arkhē, “rule”).