- any platform, stage, or the like, for public speaking.
- a pulpit.
- a beaklike projection from the prow of a ship, especially one on an ancient warship for ramming an enemy ship; beak; ram.
- Roman Antiquity. (in the forum) the raised platform, adorned with the beaks of captured warships, from which orations, pleadings, etc., were delivered.
- Biology. a beaklike process or extension of some part; rostellum.
- British Theater. a raised platform or dais, especially one with hinged sides that can be folded and stored within a relatively small space.
Origin of rostrum
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for rostrum
It was hard not to get mixed messages from the rostrum, too.Fear and Loathing at the Republican Leadership Conference
June 3, 2014
That nominee had three challenges as he took the rostrum in Tampa.Romney’s Lame Speech Might Have Gone Better Had He Learned From Bush 1 and Al Gore
September 1, 2012
The doctor dropped down from his rostrum as if his task were done.The Plunderer
The Baroness, to tell the truth, waddled rather than stepped to the rostrum.Is He Popenjoy?
Rostral: pertaining or attached to a rostrum; specifically of Hemiptera.Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology
John. B. Smith
The unroofed porch of the tavern served Flagg for a rostrum that day.Joan of Arc of the North Woods
Every knot of men had its grievance; every flag in the pavement was a rostrum.Four Years in Rebel Capitals
T. C. DeLeon
- any platform, stage, or dais on which public speakers stand to address an audience
- a platform or dais in front of an orchestra on which the conductor stands
- another word for ram (def. 5)
- the prow or beak of an ancient Roman ship
- biology zoology a beak or beaklike part
Word Origin and History for rostrum
1540s, from Latin rostrum, name of the platform stand for public speakers in the Forum in ancient Rome. It was decorated with the beaks of ships taken in the first naval victory of the Roman republic, over Antium, in 338 B.C.E., and the word's older sense is "end of a ship's prow," literally "beak, muzzle, snout," originally "means of gnawing," instrument noun form of rodere "to gnaw" (see rodent). Cf. claustrum "lock, bar," from claudere "to shut." Extended sense of any platform for public speaking is first recorded 1766. Classical plural form is rostra.
- A beaklike or snoutlike projection.