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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 ?
For that, we propose to develop a three step method : the comparison of the application of international law in the different contexts, to then perhaps (the approach is not inflexible) the combination of these applications, notably if they allow a different result to be attained than that obtained in each of the contexts individually, knowing that the lawyer potentially has the option of deciding, at any moment, to choose the application of the law in one context, rather than another : the hierarchization.
It's organized to meet social needs, thereby considered in the historical moment in which it was generated, but, when applied on concrete cases, is subject to interpretation and axiological hierarchization choices made by the interpreter.
Obviously, this hierarchization is also linked to a moral evaluation of the senses, which reflects a given social and religious context: Thus, in the Western Christian context, sight and hearing refer to heaven and salvation (in consequence of their superior position in the hierarchy), while smell is the dominant sense of the sulfurous underworld.
created through the labelling and hierarchization of subsections?
In his essay on Infinite Jest, Matt Tresco suggests that the encyclopedic phenomena I have identified reveal "the absence of an ordering or categorizing principle," which allows the "release and an enlargement of possibilities" in the text, favorably comparing the novel to Wikipedia in that both "are always threatening to overspill, to negate the purpose of their organizing principles" and thus challenge hierarchization (120-21).
They are all categorically the same, but there still seems to be a hierarchization of this material, which is a near-ethical dilemma that I find fascinating.
Finally, the social transgressions that affirmation of sexual identification involves are those which play a central role in attitude development, while prejudice deals with societal segmentation and hierarchization.
In fact, in his analysis, stratification or hierarchization of language is an indispensable prerequisite to the production of comic style.
Ibn Hajar is said to have taken a newly formal and inclusive approach in presenting the hierarchy of saints (atiliya)) in his al-Fatawa Niadithiyya, perhaps a reflection of both the contemporary coalescence of Sufi communities into orders and the Ottoman bureaucratization and hierarchization of the eilmine.
These moments of hierarchization after independence derived from the necessity to "limit the electoral capacity of the citizens who were committed to fascist colonialism.
The hierarchization of food items was established using the Index of Relative Importance (IRI) of Pinkas et al.