Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A tower rising above the roof of a building, especially as a church or temple, and usually surmounted by a spire.
  • noun A spire.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To rise above other buildings or objects as a steeple or a spire.
  • noun A typically lofty structure attached to a church, town-house, or other public edifice, and generally intended to contain the bells of such edifice.
  • noun A lofty head-dress worn by women in the fourteenth century. See hennin.
  • noun A pyramidal pile or stack of fish set to dry. Also called pack. See the quotation under pack, 10 .

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Arch.) A spire; also, the tower and spire taken together; the whole of a structure if the roof is of spire form. See spire.
  • noun See Rood tower, under Rood.
  • noun (Bot.) a low shrub (Spiræa tomentosa) having dense panicles of minute rose-colored flowers; hardhack.
  • noun a race across country between a number of horsemen, to see which can first reach some distant object, as a church steeple; hence, a race over a prescribed course obstructed by such obstacles as one meets in riding across country, as hedges, walls, etc.
  • noun one who rides in a steeple chase; also, a horse trained to run in a steeple chase.
  • noun a vertical back-acting steam engine having the cylinder beneath the crosshead.
  • noun [Obs.] a church.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A tall tower, often on a church, normally topped with a spire.
  • noun A spire.
  • verb transitive To form something into the shape of a steeple.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a tall tower that forms the superstructure of a building (usually a church or temple) and that tapers to a point at the top

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English stepel, from Old English stēpel.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English stepel from Old English stipel, stypel, stepel, akin to Old English steap.

Examples

  • With quaint anglers in steeple-crowned hats, setting forth to fish, or breakfasting under a tree (untrammelled by the formalities of a nursery meal), or bringing their spoils to a wayside inn with a painted fish upon the sign-board, and a hostess in a high hat and a stiff-bustled dress at the door.

    Mrs. Overtheway's Remembrances

  • Our steeple is a symbol, one that makes me think of other such symbols, such as the New England favorite, the lighthouse.

    Guest Sermon

  • A steeple is a tall ornamental structure on church or cathedral.

    Standing tall

  • Our steeple is a prominent symbol, and, it must be said, how well we care for it speaks volumes about who we are.

    Archive 2005-10-01

  • A steeple is a tall ornamental structure on church or cathedral.

    Archive 2005-07-01

  • Our steeple is a symbol, one that makes me think of other such symbols, such as the New England favorite, the lighthouse.

    Archive 2005-10-01

  • Our steeple is a prominent symbol, and, it must be said, how well we care for it speaks volumes about who we are.

    Guest Sermon

  • In the top of the steeple is the belfry with the fire bell inside.

    St. Vincent Firehall

  • 'Company of Christ's faithful people,' and that the mere outward building where they were gathered should only be called a steeple-house if it had a steeple, or a meeting-house if it had none.

    A Book of Quaker Saints

  • On the top of the steeple was a great gilded cross, considerably larger than a man.

    The Exploits of Elaine

Comments

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  • Also a hat that looks like this.

    November 14, 2007

  • You cannot spell Yarmouth-steeple right. - an old provincial saying from Norfolk England recorded by Grose, in his 1787 A Provincial Glossary. Yarmouth's church spire was awry, or crooked. The old proverb is a play on both the word spell and the word right.

    May 3, 2011