Definitions

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

Etymologies

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)

Examples

  • The label hierarchy couldn't have been that disgruntled.

    Drowned In Sound // Feed

  • In less austere terms, a hierarchy is a collection of parts with ordered asymmetric relationships inside a whole.

    A Disclaimer for Behe?

  • And the hierarchy is a "self-perpetuating elite," he continued.

    Cara McDonough: Why I'm (Still) Catholic

  • The features are pretty self explanatory, with Nested Labels, you will be able to create a label hierarchy, like you could with folders, and Message Sneak Peek allows you to see a preview of the email without actually opening it.

    Softpedia - Windows - All

  • A nested hierarchy is just a mathematical structure as defined above.

    A Disclaimer for Behe?

  • Our agreed definition of a nested hierarchy is an ordered set such that each subset is strictly contained within its superset.

    A Disclaimer for Behe?

  • Here's Wikipedia on the Nested Hierarchy: A nested hierarchy is the name given to the classification of objects into a hierarchical structure of "groups within groups" or "branches from a trunk".

    A Disclaimer for Behe?

  • Zachriel sez to screw those priniciples a nested hierarchy is what I say it is.

    A Disclaimer for Behe?

  • In this case, each set of the nested hierarchy is defined by the posited common ancestor.

    A Disclaimer for Behe?

  • A nested hierarchy is a mathematical structure, an ordered set such that each subset is strictly contained within its superset.

    A Disclaimer for Behe?

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