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[hahy-uh-rahr-ki-kuh l, hahy-rahr-] /ˌhaɪ əˈrɑr kɪ kəl, haɪˈrɑr-/
of, belonging to, or characteristic of a hierarchy.
Also, hierarchic.
Origin of hierarchical
1425-75; late Middle English. See hierarch, -ical
Related forms
hierarchically, adverb
antihierarchic, adjective
antihierarchical, adjective
antihierarchically, adverb
nonhierarchic, adjective
nonhierarchical, adjective
nonhierarchically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hierarchical
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The social structure of the Middle Ages accordingly assumed the hierarchical form which we speak of as the Feudal system.

    Liberalism L. T. Hobhouse
  • The process of relating is typically illustrated in a hierarchical fashion.

    Nursing as Caring Anne Boykin
  • Within the compagnonnages the feeling of corporate exclusiveness and the idea of hierarchical distinctions were strong.

    Syndicalism in France Louis Levine
  • The hierarchical clergy must have shuddered as they listened.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte William Milligan Sloane
  • The Curetonian Epistles with the shortest and least hierarchical text give the impression of being an epitome.

Word Origin and History for hierarchical

1560s, from hierarchic + -al (1). Related: Hierarchically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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