Old English stepel (Mercian), stiepel (West Saxon) "high tower," related to steap "high, lofty," from Proto-Germanic *staupilaz (see steep (adj.)). Also the name of a lofty style of women's head-dress from the 14th century. Steeple-house (1640s) was the old Quaker way of referring to "a church edifice," to avoid in that sense using church, which had with them a more restricted meaning.
updated on November 26, 2013
Dictionary entries near steeple