[ 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


an·ti·hi·er·ar·chy, noun, plural an·ti·hi·er·ar·chies, adjective

Example sentences from the Web for hierarchy

British Dictionary definitions for 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 element Compare ordering, heterarchy, tree (def. 6)
government by an organized priesthood

Derived forms of hierarchy

hierarchical or hierarchic, adjective hierarchically, adverb hierarchism, noun

Word Origin for hierarchy

C14: from Medieval Latin hierarchia, from Late Greek hierarkhia, from hierarkhēs high priest; see hiero-, -archy