pecking order

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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.

pecking order

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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.

pecking order

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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.

pecking order

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