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rostra

[ros-truh]
noun
  1. a plural of rostrum.
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rostrum

[ros-truhm]
noun, plural ros·tra [ros-truh] /ˈrɒs trə/, ros·trums.
  1. any platform, stage, or the like, for public speaking.
  2. a pulpit.
  3. a beaklike projection from the prow of a ship, especially one on an ancient warship for ramming an enemy ship; beak; ram.
  4. Roman Antiquity. (in the forum) the raised platform, adorned with the beaks of captured warships, from which orations, pleadings, etc., were delivered.
  5. Biology. a beaklike process or extension of some part; rostellum.
  6. British Theater. a raised platform or dais, especially one with hinged sides that can be folded and stored within a relatively small space.
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Origin of rostrum

1570–80; < Latin rōstrum snout, bill, beak of a bird, ship's prow (in plural, speaker's platform), equivalent to rōd(ere) to gnaw, bite (cf. rodent) + -trum instrumental suffix, with dt > st

Synonyms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

podium, lectern, dais, pulpit, stage, soapbox, platform

Examples from the Web for rostra

Historical Examples

  • When they are gone, I will fight Varro on the rostra, in the Senate.

    The Lion's Brood

    Duffield Osborne

  • Fructus 5-coccus, rostratus; rostra spiralia, introrsum barbata.

  • Fructus 5-coccus, rostratus: rostra spiralia, introrsum barbata.

  • Together they enter Rome and nail Octavius' head to the Rostra.

    Ave Roma Immortalis, Vol. 1

    Francis Marion Crawford

  • The form of this Rostra is preserved to us, being represented on a coin.

    Rambles in Rome

    S. Russell Forbes


British Dictionary definitions for rostra

rostrum

noun plural -trums or -tra (-trə)
  1. any platform, stage, or dais on which public speakers stand to address an audience
  2. a platform or dais in front of an orchestra on which the conductor stands
  3. another word for ram (def. 5)
  4. the prow or beak of an ancient Roman ship
  5. biology zoology a beak or beaklike part
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Word Origin

C16: from Latin rōstrum beak, ship's prow, from rōdere to nibble, gnaw; in plural, rōstra, orator's platform, because this platform in the Roman forum was adorned with the prows of captured ships
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for rostra

rostrum

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

rostra in Medicine

rostrum

(rŏstrəm)
n. pl. ros•trums
  1. A beaklike or snoutlike projection.
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Related formsrostral (-trəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.