[stee-puh l]
  1. an ornamental construction, usually ending in a spire, erected on a roof or tower of a church, public building, etc.
  2. a tower terminating in such a construction.
  3. (loosely) a spire.
verb (used with object), stee·pled, stee·pling.
  1. to provide with or form into a steeple or steeplelike configuration.

Origin of steeple

before 1000; Middle English stepel steeple, tower, Old English stēpel tower. See steep1, -le
Related formsstee·pled, adjectivestee·ple·less, adjectivestee·ple·like, adjectiveun·stee·pled, adjective
Can be confusedspire steeple Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for steepling

Historical Examples of steepling

  • The natural site of Edinburgh is remarkable, consisting of three rocky ledges, steepling over deep ravines.

    Peter Parley's Own Story

    Samuel G. Goodrich

British Dictionary definitions for steepling


  1. a tall ornamental tower that forms the superstructure of a church, temple, etc
  2. such a tower with the spire above it
  3. any spire or pointed structure
Derived Formssteepled, adjective

Word Origin for steeple

Old English stēpel; see steep 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for steepling



Old English stepel (Mercian), stiepel (West Saxon) "high tower" (related to steap "high, lofty"), from Proto-Germanic *staupilaz (see steep (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper