(redirected from hierarchically)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


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 Article's examination of hierarchically heterogeneous deference divides into two parts.
The textbooks from Astleitner (1998), Bierman & Assali (1996), LeBlanc (1998), Petri (2000), and Walton (1989) are all structured linearly or hierarchically, what means that the learner has to work through the material from front to back.
In a significant contribution to the history of gender and early modern labor, Luca Mola argues that the models of organization that governed the work of women in Renaissance Venice were m ore flexible and less hierarchically organized than those of their male counterparts.
And since the British conceived and understood their metropolis hierarchically, it was scarcely surprising that they conceived and understood their periphery in the same way, and that chivalry and ceremony, monarchy and majesty, were the means by which this vast world was brought together, interconnected, unified and sacralized (122).
He espoused the idea that things are placed into the same category on the basis of what they have in common," author Arlene Taylor wrote in her book The Organization of Information, and they are arranged hierarchically with things either inside or outside the container.
Second, identities give meaning to the self and are organized hierarchically from the most salient to the least salient.
Williams's presence at MOCA blurred the line between high and low, or, rather, suggested that such a line no longer ran vertically or separated hierarchically but instead leveled and connected horizontally one obsessive taste and audience after another.
Guibbory is most interesting when he puts forward a positive reevaluation of ceremonialism as an attempt to "revive and preserve a sacramental vision of worship and human experience and a belief in the hierarchically unified interdependence of body, soul, and affections in the human person" (42).
In addition to divergences from the Universal Declaration of Human rights, the Arab human rights movement has also failed to practice universality by hierarchically ordering some rights above others.
The result is that our organizations tend to have a large investment in hierarchically oriented, host-based computer systems.
Bonaventure, stress the egalitarian nature of work, distinguishing the mechanical from the liberal arts not hierarchically "but upon the different processes employed" - a position hardly foreign to the thought of John Dewey and the American pragmatists.
Andre Alexis's first collection of short fiction plunges the reader into a realm where ordinary experience is only a faint memory of a once hierarchically ordered and explainable universe.

Full browser ?