(redirected from Hierachy)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia.
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 ?
There's a natural hierachy of physical settings within any given organization, as in Figure 2 (page 54).
The line-up features a host of rising stars including The Riff, Upbeat Sneakers, Local Enemy, Chapel Row, Soundwire, Hierachy, Scott Howells, and Chordie.
Paul Trollope remains the overwhelming favourite with the bookmakers, and is understood to be one of a number of figures from across the game to be interviewed by the Bluebirds' hierachy over the weekend.
The club's hierachy has been giving conflicting messages about ticketing recently.
Dick Advocaat says discussions with the club hierachy persuaded him he was the |right man to take the club forward, as he signed a one-year deal yesterday
Even the Broncos hierachy, who decided to turn back time in the off-season, couldn't have dreamed how well his second spell at the helm would have begun.
And in an interview he confirmed that the IRA hierachy in Dublin knew all along that the six Irishmen arrested for the explosions were innocent "from the get go, from the very start.
The 67-year-old cleric hit back yesterday after Labour Minister Pat Rabbitte said he didn't want the Church hierachy dictating to politicians.
I have not once been asked by a Priest or the hierachy of the various Catholic Churches I have been part of over the last 16 years, to join a conversion programme or come over to the Catholic Church.
Luke Wright has been in sparkling form of late, and has impressed the England hierachy enough to warrant a call-up to the Twenty20 squad for the upcoming World Cup in South Africa.