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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 dynamic of Catholicism, replaced by the council fathers with the collegiality of the early church at Vatican II, has imploded.
Indeed, the notion of power with reinvigorates the conception of coalition through a rejection of stable hierarchical structures--particularly patriarchal ones that depend on the threat of violence and violence itself (power over)--and a refraining of power as derived from dynamic, collective, caring interactions.
When you want to access a file on an optical disk, the request goes right to the hierarchical storage server, since all directory information is still on the system's magnetic disks.
This paper demonstrated a hierarchical data model can be effective for representing the P-WE similarity relationships among a group of skilled occupations in a computer.
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.
These observations led to the development of an initial, researcher-identified model of student thinking processes that described three, hierarchical, learning pathways used when problem-solving in the classroom.
Hierarchical organizational structures and employee roles must give way to more fluid forms.
The problem I have with this book is that McPhee's own answer to the question of political choice is itself rigidly hierarchical--hierarchical in time, hierarchical in space, hierarchical in social conception.
Talus is the only automated RTL-to-GDSII design flow that combines hierarchical design capabilities, clock and power planning, and chip assembly in one system.
ChipEDA's hierarchical design flow with built in timing closure and layout re-use enables our customers to build an entire product line around a core technology in record time with minimal resources.
1 now incorporates hierarchical clustering and entity-level security, resulting in enhanced scalability and security capabilities.