from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A body of persons having authority.
- n. Categorization of a group of people according to ability or status.
- n. The group so categorized.
- n. A series in which each element is graded or ranked: put honesty first in her hierarchy of values.
- n. A body of clergy organized into successive ranks or grades with each level subordinate to the one above.
- n. Religious rule by a group of ranked clergy.
- n. One of the divisions of angels.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A body of authoritative officials organized in nested ranks.
- n. Any group of objects ranked so that every one but the topmost is subordinate to a specified one above it.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Dominion or authority in sacred things.
- n. A body of officials disposed organically in ranks and orders each subordinate to the one above it; a body of ecclesiastical rulers.
- n. A form of government administered in the church by patriarchs, metropolitans, archbishops, bishops, and, in an inferior degree, by priests.
- n. A rank or order of holy beings.
- n. 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.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The power or dominion of a hierarch; hallowed or consecrated authority in what concerns religious order or government.
- n. Government by ecclesiastical rulers; an ecclesiastical or priestly form of government. —
- n. An order of holy beings regarded as employed in divine government.
- n. A body of persons organized in ranks and orders for the exercise of rule oversacred things; hence, an organized body of ecclesiastics intrusted with government of either church or state; also, a similarly organized body of officials in other systems of government: as, the Roman Catholic hierarchy.
- n. In science, a series of successive terms of different rank. The terms kingdom, order, suborder, family, genus, and species constitute a hierarchy in zoölogy.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a series of ordered groupings of people or things within a system
- n. the organization of people at different ranks in an administrative body
Middle English ierarchie, from Old French, from Medieval Latin hierarchia, from Greek hierarkhiā, rule of a high priest, from hierarkhēs, high priest; see hierarch.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English ierarchie from Latin hierarchia, from Ancient Greek ἱεραρχία (hierarkhia, "rule of a high priest"), from ἱεράρχης (hierarkhēs, "high priest"), from ἱερεύς (hiereus, "priest") and ἀρχή (arkhē, "rule"). Compare French hiérarchie. (Wiktionary)