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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 ?
The World War II generation built and sustained wealth so we did not need to worry about the first two or three levels of Maslow's hierarchy.
Understanding and motivating health care employees: Integrating Maslow's hierarchy of needs, training and technology.
Make people feel safe in their home as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs states.
In the workplace, Maslow's hierarchy can be translated into job-related factors.
Maslow's hierarchy of human needs provides a framework for goals that most individuals crave and wish.
If we think of a person through the eyes of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, it is clear that many needs can be met, at least in part, in the digital world.
I try to reverse the opposition between technical rationalist knowledge and Bildung by analysing Maslow's hierarchy of needs and confronting his theory with a number of findings of our recent research into identity and literary space.
These indicators were organized into a set of health-relevant domains inspired by Maslow's hierarchy of needs (Maslow 1968, 1970), which was the basis of the conceptual framework for this research.
Using Maslow's hierarchy of human needs as a holistic framework for assessment can ensure that the majority of issues and problems affecting the client are adequately identified.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Theory was used as a point of departure to establish what motivates the behaviour of nurses to emigrate from South Africa.
Firstborn, who is taking an A level in business studies and has become an expert on such matters, says that all employers should address Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs; the first of which is to meet the basic needs for food, shelter etc (ie sufficient pay).
Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Needs is a theory that illustrates the human obsession with continual technological advancement, and the reliance on materialism in order to feel good about ourselves.