steeple

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English[edit]

A steeple.
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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English stepel, from Old English stīpel, stȳpel, stīepel (tower, steeple), from Proto-Germanic *staupilaz (that which is steep, tower, steeple), equivalent to steep +‎ -le. Cognate with Old Norse stöpull (tower, steeple).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

steeple (plural steeples)

  1. A tall tower, often on a church, normally topped with a spire.
    • 1839, Edgar Allan Poe, The Devil in the Belfry[1]:
      Above the session-room of the Council is the steeple, and in the steeple is the belfry, where exists, and has existed time out of mind, the pride and wonder of the village—the great clock of the borough of Vondervotteimittiss.
    • 1855 December – 1857 June, Charles Dickens, “Little Dorrit's Party”, in Little Dorrit, London: Bradbury and Evans, [], published 1857, OCLC 83401042, book the first (Poverty), pages 126–127:
      So, the woman and the child had gone by, and gone on, and five had sounded from the steeples.
  2. A spire.
  3. (historical) A high headdress of the 14th century.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

steeple (third-person singular simple present steeples, present participle steepling, simple past and past participle steepled)

  1. (transitive) To form something into the shape of a steeple.
    He steepled his fingers as he considered the question.

Derived terms[edit]

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French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English steeple.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

steeple m (plural steeples)

  1. steeplechase

Further reading[edit]