dominance-hierarchy

dominance hierarchy

noun Animal Behavior.
a system or set of relationships in animal groups that is based on a hierarchical ranking, usually established and maintained by behavior in aggressive encounters: one or a few members hold the highest rank and the others are submissive to those ranking higher and dominant to those ranking lower.

Origin:
1970–75

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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