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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 hierarchical ATPG approach significantly reduces runtime and memory footprint compared to running ATPG for all blocks and interconnect at the top level.
Survey respondents district wide (not including the Literacy Committee) perceive school district decision making as more hierarchical than collaborative.
These bishops may drink obediently of the cup of criticism for their hesitation in identifying the sex abuse crisis and their lack of grace in managing it, but not one of them can imagine that by living the hierarchical style they are responsible for both.
2 is available with increased autonomic functionality for SAN management, new LAN-free enhancements and improved hierarchical storage management usability.
Only "gays and lesbians" who voluntarily remain members of the hierarchical churches would not have access to the civil courts for relief.
However, his work is made difficult by their inability to "know the difference" (208), as Pat points out to him, given that their world view has been constructed within an extreme hierarchical, patriarchal context that does not flinch from resorting to violence to insure its dominance.
It compares register transfer level (RTL) code to flattened or hierarchical netlists for multi-million gate designs in minutes or hours, instead of days or weeks required by comparable tools.
Instead, as one of the book's most intriguing sections demonstrates, feminists actually supported and perpetuated the hierarchical tendencies in office work.
To represent the similarity relationships among these 91 skilled occupations in a hierarchical structure, their mean R-I-A-S-E-C profiles reported in the CAI manual (Johannson, 1982) were used as input and submitted to a hierarchical cluster analysis.
The Apogee solution includes the two key functions in hierarchical design: top-down chip planning and partitioning, and bottom-up chip assembly and chip-level timing closure.
Significantly Reduces Test Integration Time and Improves Test QoR for Hierarchical SoCs
Recent learning theories describe hierarchical models of learning processes suggesting that student learning is enhanced when students are taught "higher level" processes and are scaffolded into the next level in the hierarchy.

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