pecking order: Meaning and Definition of

peck'ing or"der

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. a dominance hierarchy, seen esp. in domestic poultry, that is maintained by one bird pecking another of lower status.
  2. a sequence or hierarchy of authority in an organization or social group.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.