- any system of persons or things ranked one above another.
- government by ecclesiastical rulers.
- the power or dominion of a hierarch.
- an organized body of ecclesiastical officials in successive ranks or orders: the Roman Catholic hierarchy.
- one of the three divisions of the angels, each made up of three orders, conceived as constituting a graded body.
- Also called celestial hierarchy. the collective body of angels.
- government by an elite group.
- Linguistics. the system of levels according to which a language is organized, as phonemic, morphemic, syntactic, or semantic.
Origin of hierarchy
Examples from the Web for hierarchies
Contemporary Examples of hierarchies
But certainly we have all these hierarchies of what is considered great literature, and the canon can be dictatorial.Interview: ‘Heroines’ Author Kate Zambreno
November 23, 2012
Netanyahu could also pressure the Haredi rabbis, taking advantage of the hierarchies within the community.Get Creative For Yossi Falafel
July 17, 2012
Such honor is often based on competition and, as one would expect, lends itself to hierarchies.Why We Still Need Honor
September 18, 2010
Historical Examples of hierarchies
A homely utterance, but it has virtue to overthrow all dynasties and hierarchies.The Guardian Angel
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
She began to get a faint perception of hierarchies and powers.Jennie Gerhardt
It is not the hierarchies of the past or the present of whom we have spoken.Creed And Deed
At their feet were nine choirs of angels ranged by hierarchies upon the steps.
In the ninth heaven is a manifestation of the Divine Essence, viewed by three hierarchies of Angels.From the Thames to the Tiber
- a system of persons or things arranged in a graded order
- a body of persons in holy orders organized into graded ranks
- the collective body of those so organized
- a series of ordered groupings within a system, such as the arrangement of plants and animals into classes, orders, families, etc
- linguistics maths a formal structure, usually represented by a diagram of connected nodes, with a single uppermost elementCompare ordering, heterarchy, tree (def. 6)
- government by an organized priesthood
Word Origin for hierarchy
mid-14c., from Old French ierarchie, from Medieval Latin hierarchia "ranked division of angels" (in the system of Dionysius the Areopagite), from Greek hierarkhia "rule of a high priest," from hierarkhes "high priest, leader of sacred rites," from ta hiera "the sacred rites" (neuter plural of hieros "sacred;" see ire) + arkhein "to lead, rule" (see archon). Sense of "ranked organization of persons or things" first recorded 1610s, initially of clergy, sense probably influenced by higher. Related: Hierarchal; hierarchical.