hi·​er·​ar·​chi·​cal | \ ˌhī-(ə-)ˈrär-ki-kəl also hir-ˈär- How to pronounce hierarchical (audio) \
variants: or hierarchic \ ˌhī-​(ə-​)ˈrär-​kik also  hir-​ˈär-​ How to pronounce hierarchic (audio) \

Definition of hierarchical

: of, relating to, or arranged in a hierarchy a hierarchical society a hierarchical order in the church

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Other Words from hierarchical

hierarchically \ ˌhī-​(ə-​)ˈrär-​ki-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce hierarchically (audio) also  hir-​ˈär-​ \ adverb

Examples of hierarchical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Education must become less hierarchical and less meritocratic; and the top schools must become less elite. Daniel Markovits, Time, "American Universities Must Choose: Do they Want to be Equal or Elite?," 12 Sep. 2019 The indigenous peoples of Latin America, less nomadic than those in the north, developed their complex societies over centuries, with hierarchical structures and professional warriors. Tom Gjelten, Washington Post, "In Latin America, colonialism’s violent, seemingly inescapable legacy," 23 Aug. 2019 But based on years of watching gorillas gather in food-rich forest clearings, a team of scientists has concluded the apes have hierarchical societies similar to those of humans, perhaps to help them exploit rich troves of food. Virginia Morell, Science | AAAS, "Gorillas have developed humanlike social structure, controversial study suggests," 17 July 2019 This hierarchical structure was devised for a world in which employees were required to follow a clear set of instructions. The Economist, "Running a company is a permanent juggling act," 29 Aug. 2019 In keeping with the hierarchical character of Chinese socialism, the top officials never rub shoulders with the public. Jane Perlez, BostonGlobe.com, "At Mao’s beach, China’s leaders still make history as lifeguards hide from the sun," 22 Aug. 2019 There had been smaller, less hierarchical and organised gangs in areas like District Six from which people were forcibly removed. Don Pinnock, Quartz Africa, "Cape Town’s bloody gang violence is deeply rooted in its racist history," 16 Aug. 2019 However, the Obama administration’s approach to immigration enforcement was organized by a clear, hierarchical set of priorities. Emily Ryo, The Conversation, "How ICE enforcement has changed under the Trump administration," 29 July 2019 Most social mammals also have a hierarchical ranking for females, with top females dominating reproduction within the group, supported by subordinate females who stop breeding. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, "Ten Things We’ve Learned About Lions Since Disney’s Original ‘The Lion King’," 19 July 2019

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

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First Known Use of hierarchical

1561, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hierarchical

see hierarchy

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Statistics for hierarchical

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for hierarchical

The first known use of hierarchical was in 1561

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More from Merriam-Webster on hierarchical

Spanish Central: Translation of hierarchical

Nglish: Translation of hierarchical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hierarchical for Arabic Speakers

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to be made up of

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