(Science: botany) Steeple bush, a low shrub (spiraea tomentosa) having dense panicles of minute rose-coloured flowers; hardhack. Steeple chase, a race across country between a number of horsemen, to see which can first reach some distant object, as a church steeple; hence, a race over a prescribed course obstructed by such obstacles as one meets in riding across country, as hedges, walls, etc. Steeple chaser, one who rides in a steeple chase; also, a horse trained to run in a steeple chase. Steeple engine, a vertical back-acting steam engine having the cylinder beneath the crosshead. Steeple house, a church.
Origin: OE. Stepel, AS. Stepel, stpel; akin to E. Steep, a.