Borrowed from Latin rōstrum (“beak, snout”), from rōd(ō) (“gnaw”) + -trum, from Proto-Indo-European *reh₁d- + *-trom. The pulpit sense is a back-formation from the name of the Roman Rōstra, the platforms in the Forum where politicians made speeches. The Rōstra were decorated with (and named for) the beaks (prows) of ships from naval victories.
rostrum (plural rostra or rostrums)
- A dais, pulpit, or similar platform for a speaker, conductor, or other performer.
1922, Sinclair Lewis, “27”, in Babbitt:
He saw a crowd listening to a man who was talking from the rostrum of a kitchen-chair.
- A platform for a film or television camera.
- The projecting prow of a rowed warship, such as a trireme.
- (zoology) The beak.
- (zoology) The beak-shaped projection on the head of insects such as weevils.
- (zoology) The snout of a dolphin.
- (anatomy) The oral or nasal region of a human used for anatomical location (i.e. rostral)
dais, pulpit, or similar platform
platform for a film or television camera
projecting prow of a rowed warship
beak-shaped projection on the head of some insects
zoology: snout of a dolphin
anatomy: oral or nasal region of a human