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From Late Latin hierarcha, from Ancient Greek ἱεράρχης (hierárkhēs) (akin to Sanskrit ishiras (ishiras, vigorous, fresh, blooming)). Compare French hiérarque.


hierarch (plural hierarchs)

  1. (religion) One who has high and controlling authority in sacred things; the chief of a sacred order.
  2. (Eastern Orthodoxy) A title of bishops in their role as ordinaries (arbiters of canon law) over their respective dioceses.
    • 2016 October 11, Peter Jesserer Smith, “Pope’s Canon-Law Change Strengthens East and West”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name)[1], National Catholic Register:
      The law states that the local ordinary can give to any Catholic priest the faculty to bless the marriages of non-Catholic Eastern Christians if the faithful voluntarily ask for it and the priest prudently informs the appropriate hierarch.