Hierarchies
Hierarchy Hi"er*arch`y (h[imac]"[~e]r*[aum]rk`[y^]), n.; pl. {Hierarchies} (h[imac]"[~e]r*[aum]rk`[i^]z). [Gr. 'ierarchi`a: cf. F. hi['e]rarchie.] 1. Dominion or authority in sacred things. [1913 Webster]

2. A body of officials disposed organically in ranks and orders each subordinate to the one above it; a body of ecclesiastical rulers. [1913 Webster]

3. A form of government administered in the church by patriarchs, metropolitans, archbishops, bishops, and, in an inferior degree, by priests. --Shipley. [1913 Webster]

4. A rank or order of holy beings. [1913 Webster]

Standards and gonfalons . . . for distinction serve Of hierarchies, of orders, and degrees. --Milton.

5. (Math., Logic, Computers) Any group of objects ranked so that every one but the topmost is subordinate to a specified one above it; also, the entire set of ordering relations between such objects. The ordering relation between each object and the one above is called a hierarchical relation.

Note: Classification schemes, as in biology, usually form hierarchies. [PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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