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 (hī′ə-rärk′, hī′rärk′)
1. One who occupies a position of authority in a religious hierarchy.
2. One who occupies a high position in a hierarchy: governmental hierarchs.

[From Middle English jerarchis, hierarchs, from Medieval Latin hierarcha, dignitary, prelate, from Greek hierarkhēs, high priest : hieros, holy; see eis- in Indo-European roots + -arkhēs, -arch.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Ecclesiastical Terms)
a. a person in a position of high priestly authority
b. a person holding high rank in a religious hierarchy
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a person at a high level in a hierarchy
ˌhierˈarchal adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈhaɪ əˌrɑrk, ˈhaɪ rɑrk)

1. a person who rules or has authority in sacred matters; high priest.
2. a person having high position or considerable authority.
[1480–90; < Medieval Latin hierarcha < Greek hierárchēs steward of sacred rites; see hier-, -arch]
hi`er•ar′chal, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.hierarch - a person who holds a high position in a hierarchy
pecking order, power structure, hierarchy - the organization of people at different ranks in an administrative body
important person, influential person, personage - a person whose actions and opinions strongly influence the course of events
2.hierarch - a senior clergyman and dignitaryhierarch - a senior clergyman and dignitary  
priest - a clergyman in Christian churches who has the authority to perform or administer various religious rites; one of the Holy Orders
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


One who is highest in rank or authority:
Slang: honcho.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
As yet this world was not, and CHAOS wilde Reignd where these Heav'ns now rowl, where Earth now rests Upon her Center pois'd, when on a day (For Time, though in Eternitie, appli'd To motion, measures all things durable By present, past, and future) on such day As Heav'ns great Year brings forth, th' Empyreal Host Of Angels by Imperial summons call'd, Innumerable before th' Almighties Throne Forthwith from all the ends of Heav'n appeerd Under thir Hierarchs in orders bright Ten thousand thousand Ensignes high advanc'd, Standards, and Gonfalons twixt Van and Reare Streame in the Aire, and for distinction serve Of Hierarchies, of Orders, and Degrees; Or in thir glittering Tissues bear imblaz'd Holy Memorials, acts of Zeale and Love Recorded eminent.
Such a moment was the building of the "Three Holy Hierarchs" Monastery of Iasi.
On Wednesday children are off school celebrating the Three Holy Hierarchs, a day that pays tribute to education.
"The Istanbul Convention raises concerns about the future of the European Christian civilization because it contains a new understanding of man - man as a [ETH][degrees]absolute master, the man without God who follows his desires and passions to such an extent that he can even determine his gender" the hierarchs in a declaration.
They quoted Jerusalem hierarchs slamming Israelae1/4aos ae1/4oesystematic attempt to weaken the Christian presenceae1/4Ci in Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
So great was the priestly class' disrespect for Jesus then that they collaborated with other hierarchs to have him executed.
While today's corporate hierarchs show relative disinterest in the Oscar rituals, a generation ago, CEOs like Steve Ross and Charles Bluhdorn personally hosted Oscar events and helped shape campaigns.
Hierarchs should do a thorough examination of conscience on their attitudes and treatment of gay people in general, and become more open and accepting of people who seek to live loving, committed lives together.
Couldn't the ruling hierarchs put off their self-perpetuating political scheming and games for the time being?
The Turkish government imposes restrictions on the election of the ecumenical patriarch and the hierarchs who vote for him by requiring that they be Turkish citizens.
In April 1945 he, along with the other Greco-Catholic hierarchs and many clergy and faithful, was arrested by the NKVD on charges of treason.