Skip to main content
Select Source:

pecking order

pecking order The name given to the hierarchical social organization found in some insect species (e.g. ants and bees) and in many vertebrate species. It is so called because the phenomenon was first described for chickens. Based on dominance, it allows each member of the group to threaten (or actually peck) the individual immediately subordinate to it and so gain prior access to food or other resources.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pecking order." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pecking order." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pecking-order

"pecking order." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pecking-order

pecking order

pecking order The name given to the hierarchical social organization found in some insect species (e.g. ants and bees) and in many vertebrate species. It is so called because the phenomenon was first described for chickens. Based on dominance, it allows each member of the group to threaten (or actually peck) the individual immediately subordinate to it and so gain prior access to food or other resources.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pecking order." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pecking order." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pecking-order-0

"pecking order." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pecking-order-0

pecking order

peck·ing or·der (also peck or·der) • n. a hierarchy of status seen among members of a group of people or animals, originally as observed among hens: the luxurious office accentuated the manager's position in the pecking order.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pecking order." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pecking order." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pecking-order-0

"pecking order." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pecking-order-0

pecking order

pecking order a hierarchy of status seen among members of a group of people or animals, originally as observed among hens.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pecking order." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pecking order." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pecking-order

"pecking order." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pecking-order