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Related to Hierachy: hierarchy, Hierarchy of needs


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 ?
It sets up a hierachy between the stage and the floor - 80% of our fanbase we could pop to the pub and watch the football with.
However, his public attack on Chelsea's hierachy has only heightened speculation that he could be ready to leave Stamford Bridge this summer.
The Australian all-rounder transformed the first day of Glamorgan's latest Championship fixture with the second fastest first-class hundred of the season, and in the process emphatically raised two fingers to the Gloucestershire hierachy who have chosen not to renew his contract for next summer.
e United hierachy again conrmed this week that the club will continue to prioritise league position over success in the cup competitions.
That raises the prospect of other members of the Rangers hierachy having their roles investigated.
Being the gentleman he is, Hodgson's probably pleased that Kenny Dalglish was given and Brendan Rodgers is being given every chance to revive the club's standing in the Premier League hierachy.
The Tottenham hierachy is thought to be devastated to lose the man who has turned their set-up into one of the most impressive in Europe.
But the arrival on the scene of Manchester United as rivals for Guardiola will cause serious concern among the Chelsea hierachy.
It is believed that Hughes, a former Chelsea player, has support in the Blues hierachy, including chief executive Peter Kenyon.
It's a self-perpetuating hierachy, supported by a gullible public whose own lives are reportedly so boring that spotting a clapped-out soap star washing their smalls in a downtown launderette becomes the stuff of fish and chips gossip.
Consequently, O'Leary knows he is buying a talented young player, who is expected to head the hierachy of goalkeepers at Villa Park ahead of Peter Enckelman, Stefan Postma and Boaz Myhill.
This is usually power legitimately exercised on the basis that the person occupies the top spot in a hierachy - prime minister, first minister, chief executive or chairman, for example.