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A group of people who form an ascending chain of power or authority.

Officers in a government, for example, form an escalating series of ranks or degrees of power, with each rank subject to the authority of the one on the next level above. In a majority of hierarchical arrangements, there are a larger number of people at the bottom than at the top.

Originally, the term was used to mean government by a body of priests. Currently, a hierarchy is used to denote any body of individuals arranged or classified according to capacity, authority, position, or rank.


(Arrangement in a series), noun categorization, chain, classification, collocation, gradation, grouping, order, order of succession, range, run, seriation, series, succession, system


(Persons in authority), noun authorities, bureaucracy, commanders, controllers, dictators, directors, government, heads, leadership power, management, managers, masters, officials, persons in power, powers, regency, regime, rulers, sovereignty
See also: class

HIERARCHY, eccl. law. A hierarchy signified, originally, power of the priest; for in the beginning of societies, the priests were entrusted with all the power but, among the priests themselves, there were different degrees of power and authority, at the summit of which was the sovereign pontiff, and this was called the hierarchy. Now it signifies, not so much the power of the priests as the border of power.

References in periodicals archive ?
Borrowing from the concept of internalized racism, internalized racist nativism can be understood as the conscious or unconscious acceptance of a racist nativist heirarchy, where percieved white superitority asribes whites as native to the U.
this line of argument helps fuel a national trend to intensify the industry's racial heirarchy by tying pay rates to subjective "quality" designations.
It's an absolute disgrace and the heirarchy at Celtic should restrict Man Utd to the very least numb er of tickets the rules will allow.
Moreover, for Ibn Sina the heirarchy of Intellects and Souls of the spheres were identified with realities that in the language of religion were called angels.
This heirarchy is evident enough in the case of cultures operating outside of the mainstream tradition, but it also applies to domestic populations within the West.
THE RINCON SITS at the top of the Honda ATV heirarchy with a fuel-injected 675cc engine and well-engineered Hondamatic automatic transmission.
For example, Locke discusses a heirarchy of duties to self, duties to family, duties to local poor, duties to others more distant.
Of course, we must remember that kingship, for Jesus, was the reverse of what it is considered today; it consists not of a heirarchy of privilege, but of right relations for all, justice and mercy, and transformative love that brings new life.
IVI sits above the VISA FO layer in the program heirarchy and is integrated into the application development environments provided by NI.
Yet all of these schools were listed in the Scottish Catholic Directory as De La Salle Schools, and large number of Catholic Church heirarchy held reponsible positions in them.
At the uppermost level of this heirarchy, the targeted activity is viewed in terms of how the individual or subject (e.