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

Definition of hierarchical

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

Other Words from hierarchical

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

Examples of hierarchical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But the hierarchical, international structure of the Catholic Church and the comprehensive quality of its social teaching are too distant from American sensibilities to play the orienting role some activists hoped. Samuel Goldman, The Week, 16 July 2021 Trumpism doesn’t represent some victory for hard-core conservatives, like Catholic hierarchical authoritarians. The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, 8 Dec. 2021 Some of the duckling galaxies were colliding and merging, supporting the hierarchical clustering theory of cosmic structure growth. Quanta Magazine, 3 Dec. 2021 Caste discrimination stems from this hierarchical system related to Hinduism and associated closely with India, but has spread across South Asian countries. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 30 Nov. 2021 But a 2016 research paper on gastrodiplomacy did find that eating a meal together improved social interactions between those who dine together, not to mention fewer hierarchical displays of dominance and submissiveness. New York Times, 12 Nov. 2021 In Latin America, Chavez-Dueñas said, a hierarchical social system tied one's worth to their skin color and physical features. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 6 Nov. 2021 Knowledge graphs built upon ontological concepts developed as part of the Semantic Web but allowed for a more expressive hierarchical system, with a greater emphasis on scale and relationships. Bryon Jacob, Forbes, 28 Oct. 2021 The online conference, Dismantling Global Hindutva, included panels on the hierarchical caste system, Islamophobia and differences between Hinduism the religion and Hindutva the majoritarian ideology. Washington Post, 3 Oct. 2021

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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Time Traveler for hierarchical

Time Traveler

The first known use of hierarchical was in 1561

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Last Updated

10 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hierarchical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hierarchical. Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on hierarchical

Nglish: Translation of hierarchical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hierarchical for Arabic Speakers


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