The noun hierarchy means a system of organizing people or things into different ranks or levels of importance.

Synonyms are order, echelons, grouping, or position.

The word origins from Old French (late 14th century) ierarchie meaning “rank in the sacred order, one of the three divisions of the nine orders of angels” loosely “rule, dominion” and from Modern French (14th century) hiérarchie (source also from Medieval Latin hierarchia meaning “ranked division of angels”).

This decision will upset the current hierarchy of power in our department.

He’s a true leader so he deserves to rise through the political hierarchy.

Some baboons have a complex social hierarchy.