Definition of rostrum in English:



  • 1A raised platform on which a person stands to make a public speech, receive an award or medal, play music, or conduct an orchestra.

    ‘speaker after speaker stepped up to the rostrum’
    ‘the winner's rostrum’
    ‘the composer moved from keyboard to rostrum’
    • ‘Make no mistake, the pleasure in taking part does not exclude a strong spirit of competition, and there were some proud faces as winners took to the winning rostrums to be presented with medals.’
    • ‘Hours later, he repeated the remark even more confidently on the victory rostrum.’
    • ‘In its traditional bricks-and-mortar configuration, Sotheby's was limited to the lots it could evaluate, catalog, store and sell from the rostrum each year.’
    • ‘Sometimes, as the pianist said, the conductor would leave the rostrum and lock himself in his dressing room.’
    • ‘A powerfully built man, slightly hunched round shoulder level, he strides purposely onto the rostrum.’
    • ‘There were drinks and chatting and the two Ambassadors mounted a rostrum to give their speeches.’
    • ‘You should've seen the look on Tony's face, standing on the rostrum waiting for the receiving officer.’
    • ‘All I had to do was get up from my chair and step forward to the rostrum to speak.’
    • ‘After the Tribune, he moved to the other side of the speaker's rostrum, becoming the public affairs manager of the Transit Authority.’
    • ‘If you cannot fit a second mic on the rostrum or the speaker will be using a lavalier, a shotgun mic can serve as a backup.’
    • ‘Upon entering the hall from the gallery of the rotunda, the viewer faced the elevated rostrum of the speaker at the south end, located under an arch that featured coffers filled with plaster rosettes.’
    • ‘At its peak, St. David's were regulars on the winners rostrum in the county leagues championships.’
    • ‘In Berlioz, he planted the two harps in front of the orchestra, on either side of his rostrum, and banished bells and drums to the unseen backstage.’
    • ‘When needed to enhance visual communication, two 20 by 30-foot video screens drop down on either side of the rostrum.’
    • ‘The fact he has reached the Olympics is like a gold medal for me but it would be great to see him on the rostrum on Sunday.’
    • ‘When August comes around and Bovell more than likely mounts the medal rostrum in Athens, he will find himself under a kind of scrutiny he's never experienced.’
    • ‘Later, the magistrate asked the presspersons, who were standing near the rostrum, to go further behind where it was overcrowded and also where only one door was kept open.’
    • ‘While sound is amplified throughout the auditorium, certain parts of the audible spectrum are delayed in the seating areas farthest from the rostrum.’
    • ‘Inside the hotel ballroom, he was at a rostrum giving a rousing speech to a packed house.’
    • ‘To make the link, there is a platform that can rise or fall on scissor jacks; it can act as a goods lift or a rostrum for speakers.’
    dais, platform, podium, stage
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A raised platform supporting a film or television camera.
      as modifier ‘a rostrum camera’
      • ‘A proper rostrum is a very involved affair with the camera vertically above a flat surface so that you can zoom in, pan, and so on.’
      • ‘There is evidence of this destruction throughout the town, though it can only be accessed through rostrum pictures from the archaeological excavations.’
      • ‘This trilogy is interesting technically, as it shows a virtuosity of rostrum technique, combined with stylised and painstaking animation drawing.’
      • ‘The film proceeds through numbered graphite sketches, the rostrum camera deliberately positioned to capture both the mechanics and the magic of the animation process.’
      • ‘He earned his living as a trainee architect and a rostrum cameraman, a photocopier salesman and later as a debt collector.’
  • 2Zoology
    A beaklike projection, especially a stiff snout or anterior prolongation of the head in an insect, crustacean, or cetacean.

    ‘these beetles are very easily recognized by the rostrum or beak’
    • ‘The anapsids start out with elongate jaws and rostra, but the entire muzzle becomes progressively shorter across their phylospace.’
    • ‘Aligned S. glaessneri accumulations resemble the belemnite battlefields described and interpreted by Doyle and Macdonald, which are characterized by nearly monotypic concentrations of aligned belemnite rostra.’
    • ‘Cambarus spp. in the Northeast have no lateral spines on their rostra and the Procambarus spp. in the area have a narrow or obliterated areola.’
    • ‘Roasted, pulverised and dissolved in wine, the lobster's rostrum is served as a medicine for a variety of urinary diseases, as well as for removal of kidney stones.’
    • ‘One of the additional sidelights of this work was that the rostra of both Palaemon and Nephrops were among the last recognizable fragments.’


Mid 16th century: from Latin, literally ‘beak’ (from rodere ‘gnaw’). The word was originally used (at first in the plural rostra) to denote part of the Forum in Rome, which was decorated with the beaks of captured galleys, and was used as a platform for public speakers.