ros·​tral ˈrä-strəl How to pronounce rostral (audio)
ˈrȯ- How to pronounce rostral (audio)
: of or relating to a rostrum
: situated toward the oral or nasal region: such as
of a part of the spinal cord : superior sense 6a
of a part of the brain : anterior, ventral
ˈrä-strə-lē How to pronounce rostral (audio)
 also  ˈrȯ-

Examples of rostral in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web With parrot-like beaks (named rostral), their teeth were vital for reaching and tearing plants lying near the ground. Kelly Santana Banks, Discover Magazine, 22 Apr. 2023 The authors conclude that The main finding of this study is that the hypothalamus, depending on the state of the migraine cycle, exhibits an altered functional coupling with the spinal trigeminal nuclei and the region of the dorsal rostral pons. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 22 May 2016 The proportional length of the mandibular symphysis correlates consistently with rostral shape, forming as much as 50% of the mandible’s length in longirostrine forms, but 10% in brevirostrine crocodilians. Ncbi Rofl, Discover Magazine, 24 Jan. 2013 Ibrahim and his colleagues are looking at other brain regions that play a role in processing pain, especially the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM), which is also located in the brain stem. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 27 Oct. 2022 That area is called the rostral dorsal medulla and essentially relays sensory information from the spinal cord to the brain. Sara Lindberg, SELF, 7 Jan. 2022 Initial exams measure the fish’s rostrum and overall length, check for parasites, inspect rostral teeth to note any that are missing or damaged, and document any scars or injuries. David A. Brown, Field & Stream, 13 Dec. 2019 These are the rostral anterior cingulate cortex and the periaqueductal gray, which are involved in higher-level functioning and pain, respectively. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 9 Oct. 2017 Foffa, D., Sassoon, J., Cuff, A. R., Mavrogordato, M. N. & Benton, M. J. 2014. Complex rostral neurovascular system in a giant pliosaur. Darren Naish, Scientific American Blog Network, 16 June 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rostral.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin rostralis, from Latin rostrum

First Known Use

1686, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rostral was in 1686

Dictionary Entries Near rostral

Cite this Entry

“Rostral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


ˈräs-trəl also ˈrȯs-
: of or relating to a rostrum
: situated toward the oral or nasal region: as
of a part of the spinal cord : superior sense 1
of a part of the brain : anterior or ventral
the rostral pons
rostrally adverb
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