Definition of steeple in English:



  • 1A church tower and spire.

    • ‘Atop one of the lower hills, a lone building shaded by a grove of oaks stood watching over the rest; a white steeple protruding skyward from the shingled roof as if reaching for the heavens themselves.’
    • ‘He pointed at the end of the road, about a quarter-mile down, where a small church steeple rose above the maze of jagged red roofs.’
    • ‘In a few weeks the females will lay as many as five eggs each in nooks of old roofs, in church steeples or in ancient walls surrounding Muslim and Jewish holy sites in the Old City.’
    • ‘All I could see of it was the church steeple and point of the roof of Town Hall.’
    • ‘The one room building was lop-sided now, and a portion of the roof had collapsed in on itself, causing the steeple to lean and crumble.’
    1. 1.1 A spire on the top of a church tower or roof.
      • ‘Perched on the top of a mountain, Letefoho sports a majestic cathedral with a steeple of praying hands mounted on the roof.’
      • ‘A little chimney jutted out of the back of the roof, beyond the steeple.’
      • ‘They formed a long procession straggling on endlessly through the valley towards the distant roofs and church steeples of the Suburbs ahead.’
      • ‘He could see the Presbyterian Church's steeple over the low roofs of the office buildings and warehouses, and he could hear cars, so he knew where to go.’
      • ‘The roof was curved upward, with a steeple at the top.’
      spire, church tower, tower, bell tower, belfry
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2archaic A tall tower of a church or other building.


[with object]
  • Place (the fingers or hands) together so that they form an upward-pointing V-shape.

    • ‘‘I think we should pick up where we left off at our last meeting,’ purred Bill Lee, steepling his fingers.’
    • ‘He leaned back in his chair and steepled his fingers.’
    • ‘She glanced around the room again, now that she'd lost interest, and steepled her fingers in her lap.’
    • ‘Leaning forward, Hrold rested his elbows on his desk and steepled his fingers against his chin.’
    • ‘He steepled his fingers on his chin, thinking about how much work would be lost if the gravity wells couldn't withstand the stress of the wormhole.’
    • ‘Thomas sits opposite to him, flashes him a quarter-second smile, and steeples his fingers.’
    • ‘She steepled her fingers, and leaned her head against the top ones thoughtfully.’
    • ‘‘I've been doing a quick inventory of my curses,’ he told me, steepling his fingers.’
    • ‘He leaned back on the chair and steepled His fingers together.’
    • ‘He steepled his fingers and smiled at me over the froth of his latté. He smelled of verbena and tobacco flower, and there were fewer lines around his eyes than I remember.’
    • ‘Remae leaned back into the chair and steepled her hands, her chin resting on two fingers.’
    • ‘The woman leaned forward, steepled her fingers.’
    • ‘Rick now sat forward, steepling his fingers together, and said quietly, ‘Laura, I don't know… isn't that a bit harsh?’’
    • ‘‘It is very hard to gain the trust of a dragon,’ Ghoma said tentatively, steepling his fingers.’
    • ‘Anders had steepled his hands and rested his chin on them.’
    • ‘The doctor set the bag on the bag and steepled those long-fingered hands before his face, studying them thoughtfully.’
    • ‘Grant steepled his fingers and leant his chin on them, looking for all the world like he was evaluating her.’
    • ‘The admiral steepled his fingers in a poise of deep thought.’
    • ‘There she was, sitting at her desk with that evil smirk on her face, her hands were steepled in front of her eyes.’
    • ‘He leaned back and steepled his fingers together over his chest.’


Old English stēpel, of Germanic origin; related to steep.