Pecking-order

pecking order

noun
1.
Animal Behavior. a dominance hierarchy, seen especially in domestic poultry, that is maintained by one bird pecking another of lower status.
2.
a sequence or hierarchy of authority in an organization or social group.
Also, peck order.


Origin:
1925–30

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To pecking-order
Collins
World English Dictionary
pecking order
 
n
1.  Also called: peck order a natural hierarchy in a group of gregarious birds, such as domestic fowl
2.  any hierarchical order, as among people in a particular group

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

pecking order definition


A hierarchy within a social group or community, in which those members at the top assume positions of leadership, authority, and power. The expression originated from a description of social behavior among chickens, which attack each other by pecking to establish dominance.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature