hierarchicalsubordinatehierarchiesDeputyhierarchicallyhierarchical structuresocial hierarchiessubordinatessubordinationanti-hierarchical
A hierarchy (from the Greek hierarkhia, "rule of a high priest", from hierarkhes, "president of sacred rites") is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being "above", "below", or "at the same level as" one another.wikipedia
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Heterarchy is one such form.
A heterarchy may be parallel to a hierarchy, subsumed to a hierarchy, or it may contain hierarchies; the two kinds of structure are not mutually exclusive.

Superior (hierarchy)

superiorreligious superiorsuperiority
In a hierarchy or tree structure of any kind, a superior is an individual or position at a higher level in the hierarchy than another (a "subordinate" or "inferior"), and thus closer to the apex.

Eastern Orthodox Church

Eastern OrthodoxOrthodoxOrthodox Church
Since hierarchical churches, such as the Roman Catholic (see Catholic Church hierarchy) and Eastern Orthodox churches, had tables of organization that were "hierarchical" in the modern sense of the word (traditionally with God as the pinnacle or head of the hierarchy), the term came to refer to similar organizational methods in secular settings.
Its patriarchates, reminiscent of the pentarchy, and autocephalous and autonomous churches reflect a variety of hierarchical organisation.

Tree structure

treehierarchical treetree diagram
These pyramids are typically diagrammed with a tree or triangle diagram (but note that not all triangle/pyramid diagrams are hierarchical; for example, the 1992 USDA food guide pyramid), both of which serve to emphasize the size differences between the levels.
A tree structure or tree diagram is a way of representing the hierarchical nature of a structure in a graphical form.

Comparison and contrast of classification schemes in linguistics and metadata

classification schemeanalytical relationship-classification schemeclassifications
Branching hierarchies are present within numerous systems, including organizations and classification schemes.
In linguistics, subordinate concepts are described as hyponyms of their respective superordinates; typically, a hyponym is 'a kind of' its superordinate.


treemaptree mapTreeMaps
Examples include fractal maps, TreeMaps and Radial Trees.
In information visualization and computing, treemapping is a method for displaying hierarchical data using nested figures, usually rectangles.

Taxonomy (general)

Nested hierarchies are the organizational schemes behind taxonomies and systematic classifications.
Many taxonomies have a hierarchical structure, but this is not a requirement.

De Coelesti Hierarchia

Celestial HierarchyCelestial HierarchiesPseudo-Dionysian hierarchies
Pseudo-Dionysius used the related Greek word (ἱεραρχία hierarchia) both in reference to the celestial hierarchy and the ecclesiastical hierarchy.
the 5th century CE; it exerted great influence on scholasticism and treats at great length the hierarchies of angels.

Organizational theory

organizational theoristorganization theorybusiness theorist
Hierarchy is an important concept in a wide variety of fields, such as philosophy, mathematics, computer science, organizational theory, systems theory, and the social sciences (especially political philosophy).

Dominance hierarchy

dominance hierarchiesdominancedomination
Organizations can be structured as a dominance hierarchy.
Dominance hierarchy is a type of social hierarchy that arises when members of a social group interact, to create a ranking system.

Tree (data structure)

treetree data structuretrees
For example, with data structures, objects are known as nodes, superiors are called parents and subordinates are called children.
The set-system view of tree structures provides the default semantic model – in the majority of most popular cases, tree data structures represent containment hierarchy.

Christian denomination

denominationdenominationsChristian denominations
Many Christian denominations have an autocephalous ecclesiastical hierarchy of leadership.
The Catholic Church, due to their hierarchical structures, are not said to be made up of denominations, rather, they include kinds of regional councils and individual congregations and church bodies, which do not officially differ from one another in doctrine.

Linnaean taxonomy

LinnaeanLinneanLinnaean system
For example, using the original Linnaean taxonomy (the version he laid out in the 10th edition of Systema Naturae), a human can be formulated as:
Species can be placed in a ranked hierarchy, starting with either domains or kingdoms.


Feminists, Marxists, anarchists, communists, critical theorists and others, all of whom have multiple interpretations, criticize the hierarchies commonly found within human society, especially in social relationships.
Anarchism is an anti-authoritarian political and social philosophy that rejects hierarchies deemed unjust and advocates their replacement with self-managed, self-governed societies based on voluntary, cooperative institutions.


Logic has been applied to categories such as taxonomy, ontology, assessment, and hierarchies.

Hierarchy of roads

township roadscategory of roadsD
While sources differ on the exact nomenclature, the basic hierarchy comprises freeways, arterials, collectors, and local roads.

Settlement hierarchy

A settlement hierarchy is a way of arranging settlements into a hierarchy based upon their population or some other criteria.


Many Christian denominations have an autocephalous ecclesiastical hierarchy of leadership.
Autocephaly (from αὐτοκεφαλία, meaning "property of being self-headed") is the status of a hierarchical Christian Church whose head bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop.

List of comparative military ranks

Comparative military rankscomparative rankComparative ranks
Comparisons are made between the different systems used by nations to categorize the hierarchy of an armed force compared to another.

Military organization

formationmilitary unitunit
Armed forces that are not a part of military or paramilitary organizations, such as insurgent forces, often mimic military organizations, or use ad hoc structures, while formal military organization tends to use hierarchical forms.

Library classification

call numberclassificationclassification system
Most library classification systems are also hierarchical.

Biological organisation

biological organizationhierarchy of lifeOrganization
An example of a linear hierarchy is the hierarchy of life.
Biological organization is the hierarchy of complex biological structures and systems that define life using a reductionistic approach.

Hierarchy of precious substances

Precious substances
Precious metals appear prominently in such hierarchies, but as they grow, gems and semi-precious materials may be introduced as part of the system.


A subsumptive hierarchy "subsumes" its children, and a compositional hierarchy is "composed" of its children.