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


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 ?
If we were impelled to hierarchize the importance of these competences, we would first choose moral competences, followed by emotional, social, and physical ones, leaving intellectual competences as the less important.
Normal and abnormal are established, measured, and then used to hierarchize the various individuals.
Pettigrew centers his argument around the College of Physicians and their strategies to professionalize and hierarchize medicine.
And although Tennyson, as usual, attempts [in Idylls] to distinguish and hierarchize these two motivations (love for "our ocean-empire" versus "Cowardice, the child of lust for gold") he again, as usual, cannot convincingly do so--part of our faith in the empire should come precisely in the fact that it makes Britain "wealthier--wealthier--hour by hour
For the subjects to classify and hierarchize the descriptive terms, a card was prepared for each of the twelve terms.
Observers in this model then learn to develop files, systems of marking and classifying, and the integrated accountancy of individual records in order to compare, differentiate, hierarchize, homogenize and exclude.
Derived from a patient and recurring naming of the ephemeral but valued objects that surround him, Brauntuch's work--a visual litany of the things he knows--demands attentiveness despite its disinclination to hierarchize subject matter.