ros·trum (rŏstrəm, rôstrəm)
n. pl. ros·trums or ros·tra (rŏstrə, rôstrə)
1. A dais, pulpit, or other elevated platform for public speaking.
a. The curved, beaklike prow of an ancient Roman ship, especially a war galley.
b. The speaker's platform in an ancient Roman forum, which was decorated with the prows of captured enemy ships.
3. Biology A beaklike projection, especially:
a. An anterior projection of an insect's or an arachnid's mouthparts, of the upper jaw of a cetacean, or of the cephalothorax of a crustacean.
b. A beaklike projection of a plant part, as the fruit of a geranium.
[Latin rōstrum, beak; see rēd- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)rostrum
of a weevil
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.