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The word hierarchy and its family (hierarchical, hierarchies) are included in the Academic Word List by Dr. Averil Coxhead, which contains the 570 most frequent word families used in academic texts from a variety of subject areas, of interest for students that learn the words most needed to study at tertiary institutions.

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Definition of the noun hierarchy

What does hierarchy mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: hierarchies

  1. a series of ordered groupings of people or things within a system
    • example: put honesty first in her hierarchy of values
    • lexical domain: Groups - nouns denoting groupings of people or objects
    • more generic word: series = similar things placed in order or happening one after another
    • more specific terms:
      • celestial hierarchy = the collective body of angels
      • data hierarchy = an arrangement of data consisting of sets and subsets such that every subset of a set is of lower rank than the set
      • taxonomy = a classification of organisms into groups based on similarities of structure or origin etc
    • part of: scheme / system = a group of independent but interrelated elements comprising a unified whole
  2. the organization of people at different ranks in an administrative body

Alternative definition of the noun hierarchy


  1. A body of authoritative officials organized in nested ranks.
  2. Any group of objects ranked so that every one but the topmost is subordinate to a specified one above it.

Definition of the noun hierarchy for high school students

    a system with ranked groups, usually according to social, economic, or professional class
    • example: Women found it very difficult to break into the upper ranks of the department's hierarchy.

The noun hierarchy is considered to be a word that all college-aspiring students should know and understand, so it frequently appears on the SAT, ACT and other college admissions tests.


Hierarchy is a record label.


"Hierarchy" is a musical album of Lightfoils.


  1. Hierarchy: In mathematics, a hierarchy is a set-theoretical object, consisting of a preorder defined on a set. This is often referred to as an ordered set, though that is an ambiguous term, which many authors reserve for partially ordered sets or totally ordered sets. The term pre-ordered set is unambiguous, and is always synonymous with a mathematical hierarchy. The term hierarchy is used to stress a hierarchical relation among the elements.
  2. Hierarchy: A relationship between two entities of the same general class, in which one entity is of a higher level or greater degree of importance or achievement than the other. Furthermore, the instances of the lower level do not constitute a subset of an instance of the higher level.
  3. Hierarchy: A series of ordered groupings of people or things within a system; an organization with one or a few things at the top and with several things below each other thing.

Phrases with Hierarchy

  1. data hierarchy
  2. celestial hierarchy
  3. Arithmetic Hierarchy
  4. Arithmetical hierarchy

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Hierarchy

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewA Dictionary of Public Administration (2002)

by Shriram Maheshwari

Hierarchy is an organisation of grades or ranks of descending authority, power or prestige. The term had its origin in religion — that is in the Roman Catholic Church. There were nine orders of the heavenly host, subdivided into 'hierarchies ' in ...

Google previewThe Viagra Ad Venture (2005)

Masculinity, Marketing, and the Performance of Sexual Health by Jay Baglia

Hierarchy is the impulse toward power over others, characterized by performances of hegemonic masculinity. The Cartesian mind/body split has its foundation in the vertical impulse toward immortality when confronted with the mortal body.

Google previewPrimate Paradigms (1982)

Sex Roles and Social Bonds by Linda Marie Fedigan

A hierarchy is a group of things which are arranged in order of rank or grade according to some value system or set of criteria; and a linear dominance hierarchy is a straight-line rank ordering of animals drawn up by the researcher according ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of International Sports Studies: A-E (2006)

by Roger Bartlett, Chris Gratton, Christer Rolf

The second settlement hierarchy is the traffic ...

Google previewWebster's New World Telecom Dictionary (2008)

by Ray Horak

The signal level for a digital carrier system operating at level one of the North American digital signal hierarchy. A DS-1 corresponds with a T1 in the North American ...

Google previewThe Encyclopedia of Police Science (2007)

by Jack R. Greene

hierarchy in policing. Younger officers may look on seasoned officers with more '' street time'' as having been around long enough to have seen or done it all. For this reason, more experienced officers become important informal sources of ...

Google previewThe Advanced Dictionary of Marketing : Putting Theory to Use (2007)

Putting Theory to Use by Scott Dacko

KEY WORDS Advertising effectiveness, persuasion, consumer purchasing, stages, models IMPLICATIONS The hierarchy of effects model suggests an approach for the structured development of persuasive marketing communications where ...

Google previewDictionary Of The Social Sciences (1996)

by Hugo F. Reading

hierarchy l. a grading into successive levels. 2. a structure of unequal power relationships. (Lasswel!. H.D.). hierarchical a. hierarchy, all embracing a hierarchy in which everyone in the ...

Google previewDictionary of philosophical terms (1997)

by Elmar Waibl

hierarchy e Hierarchie fi Rangordnung f (man nat, soc) —-> order of rank < pecking order hierarchy law - Hierarchiegesetz n (Comte) (met) < law of ( the) three stages hierarchy of being ' Seinshierarchie f, Daseinsordnung f (nat, ont) ...

Google previewAdvances in the Theory of the Lexicon (2006)

by Dieter Wunderlich

is concerned, and it is structural in that this difference is generalized to argument hierarchy, with the agent being higher than the patient. The semantic ...

Google previewThe Dictionary of Marketing (2008)

by Azaz Motiwala

Hierarchy of effects The steps in the persuasion process leading to a purchase decision. The hierarchy moves from awareness to knowledge to liking to preference to conviction to purchase. Marketing communications are constructed with the ...

Google previewInternational Encyclopedia of Ergonomics and Human Factors, Second Edition - 3 Volume Set (2006)

by Informa Healthcare, Waldemar Karwowski

In the subclasses, these default values can be overwritten with so-called cancelling values without breaking up the original hierarchy (cf. concept of schemes in Section 2.5). Inference processes in taxonomic semantic networks can occur ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Hierarchy

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Photos about Hierarchy

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Small photo of Business hierarchy. Strategy concept with bitcoin. Golden bitcoin at the top standing on a pyramid of wooden building blocks. copy space.Small photo of Business hierarchy. Strategy concept with bitcoin. Golden bitcoin at the top standing on a pyramid of wooden building blocks. copy space.Small photo of Wooden figures of people on a white background in the form of a pyramid of social hierarchy. The concept of relations in society and the company's business, collective. Political system.Small photo of Hierarchy, power, management and leadership concept. Being unique and the best. Dominance, victory and winning challenge. Beat competitors. One different on better, higher level. Negative copy space.Small photo of Blue chip chairman is selecting the top executive in a hierarchical organizational chart. Business concept for multi level marketing network, recruitment, leadership and corporate hierarchy.Small photo of Hierarchy, command chain, company / organization chart, structure or layer and grouping concept image. Top down structure made from gold wires and nails on rustic wooden surface.Small photo of mindmap concept, business man looking at the scheme of hierarchy, management of organization, organigram More...

Video language resources about Hierarchy

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View more videos about Arithmetic Hierarchy and Arithmetical hierarchy.

See also the pronunciation examples of Hierarchy!

Quotes about Hierarchy

In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence. (Laurence J. Peter)
more quotes about hierarchy...

Scrabble value of H4I1E1R1A1R1C3H4Y4

The value of this 9-letter word is 20 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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