pecking order


pecking order

noun

: the way in which people or things in a group or organization are placed in a series of levels with different importance or status

Full Definition of PECKING ORDER

1
:  the basic pattern of social organization within a flock of poultry in which each bird pecks another lower in the scale without fear of retaliation and submits to pecking by one of higher rank; broadly :  a dominance hierarchy in a group of social animals
2
:  a social hierarchy

Variants of PECKING ORDER

pecking order also peck order

Examples of PECKING ORDER

  1. As an assistant manager, he was pretty low in the company's pecking order.
  2. the pecking order of Washington politics

First Known Use of PECKING ORDER

1928

peck·ing order

noun \ˈpek-iŋ-ˌ\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of PECKING ORDER

: the basic pattern of social organization within a flock of poultry in which each bird pecks another lower in the scale without fear of retaliation and submits to pecking by one of higher rank—compare cannibalism 3, dominance a

Variants of PECKING ORDER

peck·ing order also peck order \ˈpek-ˌ\

pecking order

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Basic pattern of social organization within a flock of poultry in which each bird pecks another lower in the scale without fear of retaliation and submits to pecking by one of higher rank. For groups of mammals (e.g., baboon, wolf) or other birds, the term “dominance hierarchy” is usually used, and the ranking often involves feeding or mating.

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: peckish
Previous Word in the Dictionary: peckiness
All Words Near: pecking order

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up pecking order? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More