2. A body of officials disposed organically in ranks and orders each subordinate to the one above it; a body of ecclesiastical rulers.
3. A form of government administered in the church by patriarchs, metropolitans, archbishops, bishops, and, in an inferior degree, by priests.
4. A rank or order of holy beings.
Standards and gonfalons . . . for distinction serveMilton.
Of hierarchies, of orders, and degrees.
(Math., Logic, Computers) Any group of objects ranked so that every one but the topmost is subordinate to a specified one above it; also, the entire set of ordering relations between such objects. The ordering relation between each object and the one above is called a
hierarchical relation. Classification schemes, as in biology, usually form
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