Definition of tier in English:



  • 1A row or level of a structure, typically one of a series of rows placed one above the other and successively receding or diminishing in size.

    ‘a tier of seats’
    in combination ‘the room was full of three-tier metal bunks’
    • ‘He made the infants' room look like a lecture theatre, with children as young as three sitting on tiers in a gallery.’
    • ‘When the new huts are placed on the prime spot, there will also be special lighting, wheelchair access for three tiers of huts, a water supply and designated parking for the site users.’
    • ‘As in the Chicago Auditorium, two tiers of box seats with arched fronts lined the sides of the auditorium above the lower orchestra.’
    • ‘The ground has changed a bit since then, with great cylindrical towers supporting a third tier, and a plexiglass roof that bottles up the venue's unique atmosphere.’
    • ‘Three sides of the inner chamber were lined with tiers of seats, the fourth being a flat extension of the floor, where sat the Mayor and his clerks.’
    • ‘He rebuilt the retaining walls as multiple tiers, with a bonus upper-level patio above a bank of stone steps.’
    • ‘Constructed in A.D. 161, this once-massive theater today holds only 5,000 spectators in the lower tier of seats.’
    • ‘Beyond, long hallways were being reframed into tiers of open-air balconies, through which 55 small rooms would face a central, palm-shaded atrium.’
    • ‘Against the far wall was built a smaller structure that looked like two tiers of temporary offices.’
    • ‘But the residents say development will come within 70 ft of the edge of the boulder clay cliff and will be only 30 to 50 ft above the first tier of houses.’
    • ‘Supporters flung the wooden seats from the upper tier of a stand at Sheffield United supporters celebrating their team's win on the pitch below.’
    • ‘For an hour-and-a-half, their contest was so intense that from the court you could hear cutlery being removed from the hospitality booths three tiers above.’
    • ‘The banked tiers of seats in front were in a deep gloom that contrasted sharply with the lurid light flooding the tables.’
    • ‘Inside was a rounded room, with tiers of seats rising up all around, focused on a platform in the middle of the room where three men sat, watching him as he walked in.’
    • ‘The banded masonry structure forms a robust base for the hovering lightweight steel roof plane held tautly above the tiers of seating below.’
    • ‘The stadium, with its huge tiers of stone seating, is as impressive as it is old.’
    • ‘I took a seat in the upper tier of the Cusack Stand to watch the minor final.’
    • ‘A woman at the bar on the tier above us held her drink precariously over mom's head.’
    • ‘The Rows are double-decker layers of shops, one tier on the street level, the others stacked on top and connected by a footway.’
    • ‘Her leather book bag lay under her head and a tray sat on the tier above her.’
    row, rank, bank, line
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 One of a number of successively overlapping ruffles or flounces on a garment.
      • ‘Meg took it and drank slowly, careful not to spill any on her dress, while Mrs. Carroll fretted around the pair, nervously fidgeting with the bottom tier of the gown.’
      • ‘Nicole Kidman chose a Chanel pink-chiffon, spaghetti-strap gown with tiers of ruffles running down the bodice, and 200 carats of raw Bulgari diamonds wrapped around her neck.’
      • ‘Pin a piece of costume jewelry between the two tiers.’
      • ‘Heiress, a wedding dress from 1957 with chevron pleated handkerchief linen descending in tiers banded with handmade Irish crochet, demonstrates the concept at its most magical.’
      • ‘However, she seemed to have forgotten the lower tier of her shirt.’
      • ‘Scarlet Johansson in a very green dress that has tiers of green ruffles.’
    2. 1.2 A level or grade within the hierarchy of an organization or system.
      ‘companies have taken out a tier of management to save money’
      • ‘Critics of the plan believe it is rooted as much in political expediency as in a genuine desire to revamp the topmost tier of the legal system.’
      • ‘The automobile industry is characterized by a hierarchical social division of labor, organized in tiers around powerful car producers.’
      • ‘The basic tier is operation within the workplace.’
      • ‘All four semi-finalists will have the option of moving up to the lower tier of the new grade.’
      • ‘The government has determined to replace appeals to the Privy Council with a new two tier Supreme Court above the current Court of Appeal.’
      • ‘When a company makes progress within these lower tiers, it eventually gets promoted to the index above.’
      • ‘Apart from the social tier, I wonder if there are any other differences?’
      • ‘However when a tier of our democratic system does not work well it is imperative to improve it not abolish it.’
      • ‘Since the mid-1990s, lower tiers of government have been expected to shoulder the lion's share of these education costs using their own locally-raised taxes.’
      • ‘Australia is in danger of creating a two-tier system of universities.’
      • ‘These schools would compose the bottom tier of an educational hierarchy based on privilege.’
      • ‘The defenders of our health care system have asserted themselves strongly, and the advocates of the two-tier system are for the moment, in retreat.’
      • ‘We wanted to see how we could pull out costs at the buyer tier of the three-tier system.’
      • ‘It most likely represents the upper tier of a two-tiered hierarchy, as a large number of smaller sites have been recorded in the vicinity.’
      • ‘The final tier of the hierarchy is the Executive Oversight Committee.’
      • ‘It was also successful at the lower tier of government and, indeed, in 2002 held office in every state and territory.’
      • ‘What are the societal consequences of creating a two-tier medical system?’
      • ‘We should like to see a better representation from people of various faiths at all tiers within the Charity Commission.’
      • ‘Is this third level necessary when two tiers of government are already regulating pesticides?’
      • ‘Having arrived at the final 40, they assigned each to one of four tiers, and debated the ranking within each tier.’
      grade, gradation, step, echelon, point on the scale, rung on the ladder
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Late 15th century: from French tire ‘sequence, order’, from tirer ‘elongate, draw’.