hi·​er·​arch | \ ˈhī-(ə-)ˌrärk How to pronounce hierarch (audio) \

Definition of hierarch

1 : a religious leader in a position of authority
2 : a person high in a hierarchy

Other Words from hierarch

hierarchal \ ˌhī-​(ə-​)ˈrär-​kəl How to pronounce hierarch (audio) \ adjective

Examples of hierarch in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the immediate aftermath of communism there was a flurry of revelations about collaboration between Russian hierarchs and the KGB, but soon the files snapped shut. The Economist, 11 Aug. 2019 That paved the way for Archbishop Ieronymos to join the primate of the new Ukrainian church, Epifaniy, and many other Bartholomew-minded hierarchs at celebrations in Istanbul of the Ecumenical Patriarch’s personal feast-day on June 11th. Erasmus, The Economist, 15 June 2019 The affair follows a two-year-old drive by Archbishop Charles Thompson, the local hierarch, to make sure that Catholic teaching is observed in all the places under his purview. Erasmus, The Economist, 14 July 2019 Unfortunately the ability to communicate successfully across other barriers, whether geopolitical or simply personal, is currently eluding the Christians of the East, or at least their hierarchs. Erasmus, The Economist, 15 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hierarch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of hierarch

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hierarch

Middle English ierarchis, plural, from Medieval Latin hierarcha, from Greek hierarchēs, from hieros sacred + -archēs -arch

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Time Traveler for hierarch

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The first known use of hierarch was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Hierarch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hierarch. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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