Definition of rostrum in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrästrəm/

noun (plural rostra /ˈrästrə/ /ˈrô-/ or rostrums)

1A raised platform on which a person stands to make a public speech, receive an award or medal, play music, or conduct an orchestra.
Example sentences
  • You should've seen the look on Tony's face, standing on the rostrum waiting for the receiving officer.
  • Later, the magistrate asked the presspersons, who were standing near the rostrum, to go further behind where it was overcrowded and also where only one door was kept open.
  • When August comes around and Bovell more than likely mounts the medal rostrum in Athens, he will find himself under a kind of scrutiny he's never experienced.
1.1A platform for supporting a movie or television camera.
Example sentences
  • The film proceeds through numbered graphite sketches, the rostrum camera deliberately positioned to capture both the mechanics and the magic of the animation process.
  • A proper rostrum is a very involved affair with the camera vertically above a flat surface so that you can zoom in, pan, and so on.
  • He earned his living as a trainee architect and a rostrum cameraman, a photocopier salesman and later as a debt collector.
2chiefly Zoology A beaklike projection, especially a stiff snout or anterior prolongation of the head in an insect, crustacean, or cetacean.
Example sentences
  • The anapsids start out with elongate jaws and rostra, but the entire muzzle becomes progressively shorter across their phylospace.
  • One of the additional sidelights of this work was that the rostra of both Palaemon and Nephrops were among the last recognizable fragments.
  • Aligned S. glaessneri accumulations resemble the belemnite battlefields described and interpreted by Doyle and Macdonald, which are characterized by nearly monotypic concentrations of aligned belemnite rostra.



Pronunciation: /ˈräsˌtrāt/
sense 2.
Example sentences
  • This is most common in stricklandioid shells with a rostrate posterior.
  • Despite their typical rhynchonelliformean shell shape with simple costae and a rostrate posterior, the shells of Stegerhynchus are rather difficult to quantify precisely.
  • In shell morphology, it closely resembles the Late Ordovician rhynchonellide Rhynchotrema in having a rostrate shell posterior and simple, strong costae.


Mid 16th century: from Latin, literally 'beak' (from rodere 'gnaw'). The word was originally used (at first in the plural rostra) to denote part of the Forum in Rome, which was decorated with the beaks of captured galleys, and was used as a platform for public speakers.

  • A rostrum is now a raised platform on which a person stands to make a speech, but it was originally part of a ship. It is an English use of a Latin word meaning ‘beak’, which came from rodere ‘to gnaw’. In the days of the Roman Empire the part of the Forum in Rome which was used as a platform for public speakers was decorated with the ‘beaks’ or pointed prows of captured enemy warships. See also rodent, root

Words that rhyme with rostrum


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ros·trum

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