hierarchy

[ hahy-uh-rahr-kee, hahy-rahr- ]
/ ˈhaɪ əˌrɑr ki, ˈhaɪ rɑr- /

noun, plural hi·er·ar·chies.

Origin of hierarchy

1300–50; < Medieval Latin hierarchia < Late Greek hierarchía rule or power of the high priest, equivalent to hier- hier- + archía -archy; replacing Middle English jerarchie < Middle French ierarchie < Medieval Latin ierarchia, variant of hierarchia

Related forms

an·ti·hi·er·ar·chy, noun, plural an·ti·hi·er·ar·chies, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hierarchy

British Dictionary definitions for hierarchy

hierarchy

/ (ˈhaɪəˌrɑːkɪ) /

noun plural -chies

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

Derived Forms

hierarchical or hierarchic, adjectivehierarchically, adverbhierarchism, noun

Word Origin for hierarchy

C14: from Medieval Latin hierarchia, from Late Greek hierarkhia, from hierarkhēs high priest; see hiero-, -archy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012