rostra

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rostrum

[ros-truhm]
noun, plural rostra [ros-truh] , rostrums.
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.

Origin:
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


1. stand, dais, podium, lectern.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
rostrum (ˈrɒstrəm)
 
n , pl -trums, -tra
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
4.  the prow or beak of an ancient Roman ship
5.  biology, zoology a beak or beaklike part
 
[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]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

rostrum
1542, from L. 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," lit. "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. Plural form is rostra.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

rostrum ros·trum (rŏs'trəm)
n. pl. ros·trums or ros·tra (-trə)
A beaklike or snoutlike projection.


ros'tral (-trəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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