pecking order definition by Webster's New World
- a hierarchy among birds, as a flock of hens, based on aggressive pecking in which the most dominant bird pecks all others, the second most dominant bird pecks all others except the most dominant, etc.
- social organization in which status is determined by aggressive awareness of rank, income, etc.
Origin: calque of German hackordnung
pecking order definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- A hierarchy among a group, as of people, classes, or nations: “The astronauts had developed a pecking order that was military in its rigidity” (Tom Wolfe).
- The social hierarchy in a flock of domestic fowl in which each bird pecks subordinate birds and submits to being pecked by dominant birds.
pecking order - Business Definition
pecking order - Cultural Definition
A hierarchy within a social group or community, in which those members at the top assume positions of leadership, authority, and power. The expression originated from a description of social behavior among chickens, which attack each other by pecking to establish dominance.