2. A curved shape suggestive of a bird's beak or the snout of some insects: The ornithologist classified the unusual bird based on the rostrum of its nib or bill.
The university president stood on the rostrum and read the roster of students who were receiving special awards at the end of the year.
2. A platform raised above the surrounding level to give prominence to the person on it.
3. The beak-shaped prow of an ancient Roman ship, especially a war galley.
4. Etymology: from Latin 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., and the word's older sense is "end of a ship's prow"; literally, "beak, muzzle, snout"; originally, "means of gnawing" instrument, a noun form of rodere "to gnaw".