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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 ?
This return to hierarchisation is clearly evidenced by the Late La Tene burials reviewed in Chapter 7 on 'Negotiating power: aristocratic burials and local communities in the Late La Tene period'.
Comme tout heritage colonial, la hierarchisation par degres de chefferies auxiliaires de l'administration territoriale peut etre arbitraire--elle est dans tous les cas suivie avec attention.
La hierarchisation de Pierre Parlebas (45) n'est pas plus operante des lors que les sports de competitions, reglementes, codifies et institutionnalises sont les grands absents des bambochades des atouts du Tarot Grimaud.
L'operationnalisation de la responsabilite populationnelle se presente-t-elle alors comme une occasion d'accentuer une certaine hierarchisation des interventions et des expertises professionnelles sous l'egide medicale, plutot qu'une opportunite de developper et de consolider des pratiques de complementarite entre les differents partenaires du RLS?
Hierarchisation Sanitaire des Parametres Mesures dans les Batiments par l'OQAI.
Aiming at satisfying the population's material and spiritual needs, consumption has witnessed an ascendant evolution in time, as a result of the increase and diversification of needs, but also of the increasingly wider possibilities of society to satisfy them; along with the qualitative growth, consumption has also undergone a series of structural mutations, triggered by the process of demand hierarchisation and the level and rhythms of economic and social development (Catoiu et al.
Gell's view also amounts implicitly to justifying the classic statutory hierarchisation according to which the proper place of a figurine used in African divination is in an ethnographic museum rather than in a museum of fine arts.
Cette hierarchisation montre une volonte de s'approprier les ouvrieres les plus qualifiees et de les fideliser a l'usine grace a des salaires determines par leur scolarite et leurs experiences anterieures.
The hierarchisation is grounded on the inferiorisation of the Other and it corresponds to social processes which aim at placing the Other in a position of the discriminated and of the dominated.
De maniere generale, la racialisation peut etre definie comme un processus de categorisation et de hierarchisation sociale ayant comme resultat la construction d' << un autre >>--le marginalise--et le situant dans une position d'inferiorite, celui-ci se retrouvant par ailleurs en opposition a un << nous >>--le groupe majoritaire dominant--percu dans l'imaginaire populaire comme superieur au groupe marginalise.
Ce concept fait en effet reference aux relations structurelles de domination qui explique la hierarchisation des poles urbains au sein d'un espace de dimension regional, national ou continental; ces poles sont definis selon des frontieres qui sont de nature politique.