pecking order


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pecking order

The hierarchy within a group or organization. There's definitely a pecking order in this company, and you're not going to do well if you don't know your place.
See also: order, peck

pecking order

The hierarchy of authority in a group, as in On a space mission, the astronauts have a definite pecking order. This expression, invented in the 1920s by biologists who discovered that domestic poultry maintain such a hierarchy with one bird pecking another of lower status, was transferred to human behavior in the 1950s.
See also: order, peck

the pecking order

COMMON The pecking order in a group is the order of importance of the people or things within that group. Offices came in 29 sizes, according to your place in the company's pecking order. The British Medical Association issued a warning that doctors may be forced to draw up a pecking order of operations. Note: When groups of hens are kept together, a `pecking order' tends to form. This means that a stronger bird can peck a weaker bird without being pecked in return.
See also: order, peck

pecking order

a hierarchy of status observed among a group of people or animals.
The expression originally referred literally to chickens and other birds, the more dominant of which in a group get to feed before the others.
See also: order, peck

a/the ˈpecking order

(informal, often humorous) the way a group is organized, with some members being more important or powerful than others: You don’t get a company car unless you’re pretty high up in the pecking order.This expression was first used by a scientist in the 1920s after studying groups of birds; he noticed there was an order when birds were feeding, with the strongest birds eating first.
See also: order, peck
References in periodicals archive ?
Star Trek may have made him a celebrity in the US, but Patrick Stewart was still way down the Hollywood pecking order
Among these theories, the most heavily discussed and empirically tested theories are the trade-off theory and the pecking order theory.
The Corkman has been pushed down the pecking order at St Andrews following Joe Hart's arrival.
Defoe left Spurs just under a year ago as Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane were above him in the pecking order - but he is now expected to lead Harry Redknapp's attack after agreeing a return.
JUANDE Ramos has not given Jermain Defoe a full game since his appointment as head coach at Tottenham - but he insists there is no pecking order of strikers at White Hart Lane.
The Nashville-based songwriter has received significant airplay over the last couple of years which has helped move her up the musical pecking order.
The 33-year-old has fallen down the pecking order behind on-loan Chris Kirkland and promising young Polish keeper Tomasz Kuszczak.
The midweek arrival of pounds 3million hitman 'Duke' from Wigan threatened to send 31-year-old Horsfield further down West Brom boss Bryan Robson's pecking order.
SVEN-GORAN Eriksson insisted that Sol Campbell could force his way back to the top of the central defenders' pecking order on England's United States tour.
00 Wincanton)Well up the pecking order at West Lockinge Farm and ready to build on pleasing hurdling debut.
O'Brien says: "We wouldn't mind going to Epsom to find out the pecking order.
Because the wasps, Polistes fuscatus, maintain a pecking order, observers have long speculated that colony members can tell who's who.
Manchester has flown past Birmingham in BA's pecking order in recent years, particularly in the aftermath of the dumping of transatlantic routes to New York out of the Second City.
One could refer to databases in the traditional hierarchical sense, with a structure arranged according to the pecking order of objects, or to complex object-oriented databases, which are subdivided by classes and their interrelations.
The 24-year-old joined the Black Cats from the Welsh club in a pounds 5m in July last year but has since fallen down the pecking order and has made only one start in his five Premier League appearances this season.