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

Examples of rostrum in a Sentence

stood on a rostrum to address the huge crowd
Recent Examples on the Web Carvel’s entrance is hilarious — driving a golf cart onto the stage, before making a putt that misses the flag and sends his ball off the edge of the rostrum. Demetrios Matheou, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Apr. 2022 Biden will step up to the House speaker’s rostrum to address a nation in conflict with itself. Calvin Woodward And Zeke Miller,, 27 Feb. 2022 After becoming president in 2009, Biden sat at the rostrum, with the House speaker, for President Barack Obama's State of the Union addresses. Darlene Superville, ajc, 1 Mar. 2022 The foreign minister of Tuvalu, the island nation a smidge above sea level, beamed in from a rostrum submerged in the Pacific Ocean to talk about the concept of underwater sovereignty. Washington Post, 14 Nov. 2021 While delivering her inaugural address, Lightfoot invoked Chicago’s history of corruption and turned to face aldermen on the rostrum behind her, which some interpreted as an attack on their integrity. Gregory Pratt,, 28 Feb. 2022 Gavin Strang, managing director and head of private collections at Lyon & Turnbull, was on the rostrum of the Edinburgh auction house when the dish was sold. CNN, 7 Oct. 2021 On Friday, three vice presidents and five prime ministers — including Bangladesh's Sheikh Hasina and New Zealand's Jacinda Arden — will take the rostrum or give their address in a prerecorded video. Mallika Sen, ajc, 24 Sep. 2021 Notably absent from the rostrum in front of City all was state Sen. Jim Mills, D-San Diego, author of much of the state legislation that made the project possible. San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 July 2021 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for rostrum

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The first known use of rostrum was in 1542

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Last Updated

26 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rostrum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for rostrum


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 rostrum (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

More from Merriam-Webster on rostrum

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


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