Ros"trum (?), n.; pl. L. Rostra (#), E. Rostrums (#). [L., beak, ship's beak, fr. rodere, rosum, to gnaw. See Rodent.]


The beak or head of a ship.

2. pl. (Rostra) Rom. Antiq.

The Beaks; the stage or platform in the forum where orations, pleadings, funeral harangues, etc., were delivered; -- so called because after the Latin war, it was adorned with the beaks of captured vessels; later, applied also to other platforms erected in Rome for the use of public orators.


Hence, a stage for public speaking; the pulpit or platform occupied by an orator or public speaker.

Myself will mount the rostrum in his favor. Addison.

4. Zool. (a)

Any beaklike prolongation, esp. of the head of an animal, as the beak of birds.


The beak, or sucking mouth parts, of Hemiptera.


The snout of a gastropod mollusk. See Illust. of Littorina.


The anterior, often spinelike, prolongation of the carapace of a crustacean, as in the lobster and the prawn.

5. Bot.

Same as Rostellum.

6. Old Chem.

The pipe to convey the distilling liquor into its receiver in the common alembic.


7. Surg.

A pair of forceps of various kinds, having a beaklike form.




© Webster 1913.

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