Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “hierarchy”

hierarchy

noun [C] uk   /ˈhaɪə.rɑː.ki/ us    /ˈhaɪr.ɑːr-/
C2 a system in which people or things are arranged according to their importance: Some monkeys have a very complex social hierarchy. He rose quickly through the political hierarchy to become party leader.Classifying and creating order the people in the upper levels of an organization who control itPeople in charge of or controlling other peopleBosses, managers and directorsBosses, managers and directorsPeople in charge of or controlling other people
hierarchical
adjective uk   /ˌhaɪəˈrɑː.kɪ.kəl/ us    /ˌhaɪrˈɑːr-/
C2 It's a very hierarchical organization in which everyone's status is clearly defined.Classifying and creating order
hierarchically
adverb uk   /ˌhaɪəˈrɑː.kɪ.kəl.i/ us    /ˌhaɪrˈɑːr-/
The company is hierarchically structured.Classifying and creating order
(Definition of hierarchy from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of hierarchy?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “hierarchy” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

nip

to press something quickly and quite hard between two objects, especially sharp objects such as teeth or nails

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More