stee·​ple | \ ˈstē-pəl How to pronounce steeple (audio) \

Definition of steeple

: a tall structure usually having a small spire at the top and surmounting a church tower broadly : a whole church tower

Illustration of steeple

Illustration of steeple

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Other Words from steeple

steepled \ ˈstē-​pəld How to pronounce steepled (audio) \ adjective

Examples of steeple in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Dozens of Latter-day Saints helped restore the bell tower and steeple of the Bethel AME Church, the oldest chapel in Chico, Calif. David Noyce, The Salt Lake Tribune, "This week in Mormon Land: A prophet’s promo; a Black protester’s new partnership; an age-old translation question.," 19 Nov. 2020 Its squat brick façade and small white steeple are meant to evoke Independence Hall. Dan Kaufman, The New Yorker, "Will Trump’s Broken Promises to Working-Class Voters Cost Him the Election?," 31 Oct. 2020 In Biloxi, where the storm had downgraded to a Category 1, Zeta knocked the steeple off a church as rising floodwaters prompted several evacuations. Victoria Albert, CBS News, "Zeta leaves at least 6 dead and nearly 2 million without power," 30 Oct. 2020 The architect wanted a more grandiose steeple, but the de Menils sided with Rothko, causing Johnson to quit. Hilarie Sheets, ELLE Decor, "The New-and-Improved Rothko Chapel Shines a Fresh Light on the Art," 30 Oct. 2020 The steeple of the First Parish Church of Stow and Acton, towered over the verdant town of Stow, Mass., west of Boston. Bob Morris, New York Times, "A Choir Finds a Way to Sing. Just Ignore the Steering Wheel.," 7 Oct. 2020 Another was burned -- television images showed the steeple engulfed in flames before collapsing. Eduardo Thomson,, "Protesters Clash With Chile Police, Burn Church in Santiago," 18 Oct. 2020 The storm blew down two homes under construction in Galveston, Texas, and toppled the steeple of a church in Jennings, Louisiana. Anchorage Daily News, "Delta adds insult to injury in hurricane-ravaged Louisiana," 10 Oct. 2020 The storm blew down two homes under construction in Galveston, Texas, and toppled the steeple of a church in Jennings, Louisiana., "Delta Adds Insult to Injury in Hurricane-ravaged Louisiana," 10 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'steeple.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of steeple

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for steeple

Middle English stepel, from Old English stēpel tower; akin to Old English stēap steep

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Time Traveler for steeple

Time Traveler

The first known use of steeple was before the 12th century

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Statistics for steeple

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Steeple.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for steeple


How to pronounce steeple (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of steeple

: a tall, pointed tower on a church


stee·​ple | \ ˈstē-pəl How to pronounce steeple (audio) \

Kids Definition of steeple

1 : a tall pointed structure usually built on top of a church tower
2 : a church tower

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More from Merriam-Webster on steeple

Nglish: Translation of steeple for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of steeple for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about steeple

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