hiero-, hier-

(Greek: sacred, holy; religious)

hieralgia (s) (noun), hieralgias (pl)
A pain in the sacrum or the "os sacrum" which is the "sacred bone"; so called because it was thought never to disintegrate or break up: Dr. Smith described Mark's suffering as a condition of hieralgia that affected the bone which formed the posterior section of the pelvis.

The "os sacrum" is a large triangular bone formed by the fusion of the five sacral vertebrae at the base of the vertebral column and lying between the hip bones at the back part of the pelvic cavity.

hierarch (s) (noun), hierarchs (pl)
1. Someone who has rule or authority in holy things or places; an ecclesiastical ruler or potentate: Hierarchs include a chief priest; a chief prelate, or an archbishop.
2. An archangel; also Christ, as commander of the celestial beings.
hierarchal (adjective) (not comparative)
Pertaining to something that is arranged according to various criteria into different levels or layers: it has been said that only a hierarchical society with a free group of people at the top can produce works of art.

In Adam's hierarchical values, honesty is the most important essential.

1. Belonging to the angelic hierarchy.
2. Belonging to a priestly hierarchy, or body of ecclesiastical rulers.
3. According to a regular gradation of orders, classes, or ranks.
In the manner of a hierarchy; from a hierarchical point of view; in a graduated order.
Hierarchical practice and principles; hierarchical system.
An adherent or supporter of a hierarchy.
To arrange in a hierarchy or gradation of orders.
1. Rule or dominion in holy things; priestly rule or government; a system of ecclesiastical rule.
2. The collective body of ecclesiastical rulers; an organized body of priests or clergy in successive orders or grades.
3. A body of persons or things ranked in grades, orders, or classes, one above another; specifically, in natural science and logic, a system or series of terms of successive rank (as classes, orders, genera, species, etc.), used in classification.

It often happens that I wake at night and begin to think about a serious problem and decide I must tell the Pope about it. Then I wake up completely and remember that I am the Pope.

—Pope John XXIII
hieratic (adjective)
1. A cursive form of Egyptian hieroglyphics; used especially the priests.
2. Adhering to fixed types or methods; highly restrained and formal: "The more hieratic sculptures leave the viewer curiously unmoved."
3. Written or belonging to a cursive form of ancient Egyptian writing: "Hieratic Egyptian script."
4. Associated with the priesthood or priests; that is, sacred, characterizing or used by priests: "Hieratic gestures."

"In some countries, priests form a hieratic group with extensive political power, and even, sometimes, forming a hierocracy."

5. Fixed, formal, and stylized in a traditional way, e.g. as ancient Egyptian art is.
6. Of or associated with sacred people or offices; sacerdotal.
7. Etymology: from Latin hieraticus, "priestly"; borrowed from Greek hieratikos, "priestly" and ultimately from hieros, "holy".
Papyrus of the finest quality, in ancient Egypt appropriated to sacred writings.
hieratically (adverb)
1. Characterizing or used by priests: "The hieratically sacred worship was performed as expected."
2. Referring to a simplified form of hieroglyphics.
3. A descriptive term for something that is very formal in style and adhering closely to those standards.
hierocracy (s) (noun), hierocracies (pl)
1. A government by church clergy or priests; ecclesiastical rule: Hierocracy includes the doctrine that the Pope holds secular rule as well as spiritual power.
2. A body of religious clergy that rules a place or country: Gregory was brought up by the hierocracy of the Catholic Church and kept up the strong relationships to the church officials.
hierocratic (adjective), more hierocratic, most hierocratic
Descriptive term for a government made up of ruling priests: Mr. Big read a book about a hierocratic country that was led by religious dignitaries or ecclesiastics.

Ancient hieroscribe symbol This ancient Egyptian hieroglyph, the symbol of the Egyptian scribe, will take you to an explanation of hieroglyphs for a greater understanding of these special writing symbols.

Related religious-word units: church; dei-, div-; ecclesi-; fanati-; idol-; -olatry; theo-; zelo-.

Related "holy, sacred" word families: hagio-; icono-; sacro-; sanct-.