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Meaning of hierarchy

hi•er•ar•chy

Pronunciation: (hī'u-rär"kē, hī'rär-), [key]
— pl. -chies.
  1. any system of persons or things ranked one above another.
  2. government by ecclesiastical rulers.
  3. the power or dominion of a hierarch.
  4. an organized body of ecclesiastical officials in successive ranks or orders: the Roman Catholic hierarchy.
  5. one of the three divisions of the angels, each made up of three orders, conceived as constituting a graded body.
  6. Also calledthe collective body of angels.
  7. government by an elite group.
  8. the system of levels according to which a language is organized, as phonemic, morphemic, syntactic, or semantic.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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