Hierarchy
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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  • Hierarchy — • This word has been used to denote the totality of ruling powers in the Church, ever since the time of the Pseudo Dionysius Areopagita (sixth century), who consecrated the expression in his works, The Celestial Hierarchy and The Ecclesiastical… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • hierarchy — hi‧er‧ar‧chy [ˈhaɪrɑːki ǁ ɑːr ] noun hierarchies PLURALFORM 1. [countable, uncountable] HUMAN RESOURCES an organization or structure in which the staff are organized in levels and the people at one level have authority over those below them: •… …   Financial and business terms

  • hierarchy — I (arrangement in a series) noun arrangement, categorization, chain, classification, collocation, distribution, gradation, grouping, order, order of succession, progression, range, run, seriation, series, succession, system II (persons in… …   Law dictionary

  • hierarchy — ► NOUN (pl. hierarchies) 1) a ranking system ordered according to status or authority. 2) an arrangement according to relative importance or inclusiveness. 3) (the hierarchy) the clergy of the Catholic Church or of an episcopal Church. 4)… …   English terms dictionary

  • hierarchy — mid 14c., from O.Fr. ierarchie, from M.L. hierarchia ranked division of angels (in the system of Dionysius the Areopagite), from Gk. hierarkhia rule of a high priest, from hierarkhes high priest, leader of sacred rites, from ta hiera the sacred… …   Etymology dictionary

  • hierarchy — [n] order chain of command*, due order, echelons, grouping, pecking order, placing, position, pyramid, ranking, scale; concept 727 …   New thesaurus

  • hierarchy — [hī′ər är΄kē] n. pl. hierarchies [altered (modeled on Gr) < ME ierarchie < OFr jerarchie < ML(Ec) hierarchia < LGr(Ec), power or rule of a hierarch < Gr hierarchēs: see HIERARCH] 1. a system of church government by priests or other …   English World dictionary

  • Hierarchy — A hierarchy (Greek: hierarchia (ἱεραρχία), from hierarches, leader of sacred rites ) is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being above, below, or at the same level as one… …   Wikipedia

  • hierarchy — 01. The culture of my country is based upon a [hierarchy], with the King, father, and teacher at the top. 02. The church [hierarchy] seems to be against the progressive notions of many of its followers. 03. Very few women have been able to… …   Grammatical examples in English

  • hierarchy — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ complex ▪ rigid, strict ▪ the rigid class hierarchy of rural society ▪ traditional ▪ existing …   Collocations dictionary

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