ros·​trum | \ ˈrä-strəm also ˈrȯ- How to pronounce rostrum (audio) \
plural rostra\ ˈrä-​strə How to pronounce rostra (audio) also  ˈrȯ-​ \ or rostrums

Definition of rostrum

1 [Latin Rostra, plural, a platform for speakers in the Roman Forum decorated with the beaks of captured ships, from plural of rostrum]
a : an ancient Roman platform for public orators
b : a stage for public speaking
c : a raised platform on a stage
2 : the curved end of a ship's prow especially : the beak of a war galley
3 : a bodily part or process suggesting a bird's bill: such as
a : the beak, snout, or proboscis of any of various insects or arachnids
b : the often spinelike anterior median prolongation of the carapace of a crustacean (such as a crayfish or lobster)

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Examples of rostrum in a Sentence

stood on a rostrum to address the huge crowd
Recent Examples on the Web Trump stepped to the side of the rostrum, buttoned his suit jacket, and, like a mannequin in motion, returned to the microphone. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Message: His Critics Are the Crazy Ones," 18 Oct. 2019 Loudspeakers came to life as their camouflaged, many-wheeled carriers growled towards the grand gateway of the Forbidden City where President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders waited on a rostrum. The Economist, "Xi’s embrace of false history and fearsome weapons is worrying," 3 Oct. 2019 Xi was joined on the Tiananmen rostrum by Premier Li Keqiang, former Presidents Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin and other party figures. Washington Post, "China’s 70-year parade shows global ambition as HK protests," 2 Oct. 2019 Xi was joined on the Tiananmen rostrum by Premier Li Keqiang, former Presidents Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin and other party figures. Joe Mcdonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, "China’s 70-year parade shows global ambition as HK protests," 1 Oct. 2019 The Babel-like collisions of opinions now dominating the national conversation — on rostrums and social media platforms and at dinner tables — may be hell on your nerves. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: Opinions Collide in the Explosive Comedy ‘Eureka Day’," 29 Aug. 2019 While the Democrat who presides over the senate, Fetterman, stepped away from the senate rostrum Scarnati, seized the gavel and ordered the vote to go on. Tara Law, Time, "Pennsylvania Senate Session Descends Into Screaming Match Over Poverty Assistance Program," 29 June 2019 Hanington soon strode up to Gideon at the rostrum and shouted at her before fellow Republican lawmakers intervened., "Lawmaker apologizes for yelling at Maine speaker, calling her a ‘weasel’," 20 June 2019 The Pinocchio frog is just one of a handful of New Guinea treefrogs in the same genus that sport these spiky noses, or rostrums. Jason Bittel, National Geographic, "New Pinocchio frog species has a strange, pointy nose," 7 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rostrum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of rostrum

1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rostrum

Latin, beak, ship's beak, from rodere to gnaw — more at rodent

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Statistics for rostrum

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for rostrum

The first known use of rostrum was in 1542

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More Definitions for rostrum


How to pronounce rostrum (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rostrum

formal : a small raised platform on a stage


ros·​trum | \ ˈrä-strəm How to pronounce rostrum (audio) \
plural rostra\ -​trə \ or rostrums

Kids Definition of rostrum

: a stage or platform for public speaking


ros·​trum | \ ˈräs-trəm also ˈrȯs-\
plural rostrums or rostra\ -​trə How to pronounce rostra (audio) \

Medical Definition of rostrum

: a bodily part or process suggesting a bird's bill: as
a : the reflected anterior portion of the corpus callosum below the genu
b : the interior median spine of the body of the basisphenoid bone articulating with the vomer

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More from Merriam-Webster on rostrum

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rostrum

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rostrum

Spanish Central: Translation of rostrum

Nglish: Translation of rostrum for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about rostrum

Comments on rostrum

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to engage in dissolute behavior

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