an ornamental construction, usually ending in a spire, erected on a roof or tower of a church, public building, etc.
a tower terminating in such a construction.
(loosely) a spire.
verb (used with object), steepled, steepling.
to provide with or form into a steeple or steeplelike configuration.

before 1000; Middle English stepel steeple, tower, Old English stēpel tower. See steep1, -le

steepled, adjective
steepleless, adjective
steeplelike, adjective
unsteepled, adjective

spire, steeple. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
steeple (ˈstiːpəl)
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
[Old English stēpel; see steep1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. stepel (Mercian), stiepel (W.Saxon) "high tower" (related to steap "high, lofty"), from P.Gmc. *staupilaz (see steep (adj.)). Steeplechase first recorded 1793 (earlier steeplehunt, 1772), originally a race with a visible church steeple as a goal. Steeplejack "one who
climbs steeples, chimneys, etc. to make repairs" is attested from 1881.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


tall ornamental tower, sometimes a belfry, usually attached to an ecclesiastical or public building. The steeple is usually composed of a series of diminishing stories and is topped by a spire, cupola, or pyramid (qq.v.), although in ordinary usage the term steeple denotes the entire structure

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The steeple was blown over by a hurricane and the tower was damaged by an
The steeple was above the brick tower of the church, which included a large
  clock face on the two street sides of the building.
The only portion which remains today is the west façade with the steeple tower.
Wright's was steeple, chapel and parish hall all in one.
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