Meaning of “hierarchy” in the English Dictionary

"hierarchy" in British English

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hierarchynoun [ C ]

uk /ˈhaɪə.rɑː.ki/ us /ˈhaɪ.rɑː
adjective uk /ˌhaɪəˈrɑː.kɪ.kəl/ us /ˌhaɪˈrɑːr.kɪ.kəl/


It's a very hierarchical organization in which everyone's status is clearly defined.
adverb uk /ˌhaɪəˈrɑː.kɪ.kəl.i/ us /ˌhaɪˈrɑːr.kɪ.kəl.i/

The company is hierarchically structured.

(Definition of “hierarchy” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"hierarchy" in American English

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hierarchynoun [ C ]

us /ˈhɑɪ·əˌrɑr·ki, ˈhɑɪˌrɑr-/

social studies a system in which people or things are put at various levels or ranks according to their importance:

He rapidly rose in the corporate hierarchy.

(Definition of “hierarchy” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"hierarchy" in Business English

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hierarchynoun [ C ]

uk /ˈhaɪərɑːki/ us plural hierarchies

a system in which the people within a company or organization are organized into levels according to the authority they have:

Every organization has a hierarchy, and trying to understand that, and the systems and processes of the organization, is important.
corporate/management/organizational/political, etc. hierachy Many kinds of work are more easily and cheaply managed in corporate hierarchies than by individuals doing deals in the market.

the people in the upper levels of a company or organization who control it:

When the recommendations had been submitted and approved by the hierarchy, teams were established to manage the process of implementing them.

(Definition of “hierarchy” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)