–noun, plural –tra /-trə/, –trums.
1. any platform, stage, or the like, for public speaking.
2. a pulpit.
3. a beaklike projection from the prow of a ship, esp. one on an ancient warship for ramming an enemy ship; beak; ram.
4. Roman Antiquity. (in the forum) the raised platform, adorned with the beaks of captured warships, from which orations, pleadings, etc., were delivered.
5. Biology. a beaklike process or extension of some part; rostellum.
6. British Theater. a raised platform or dais, esp. one with hinged sides that can be folded and stored within a relatively small space.
[Origin: 1570-80; < L rōstrum snout, bill, beak of a bird, ship’s prow (in pl., speaker’s platform), equiv. to rōd(ere) to gnaw, bite (cf. rodent) + –trum instrumental suffix, with dt > st]
–Synonyms 1. stand, dais, podium, lectern.
The passengers of the red and white tour boat crowded against its glass wall to point and mouth at the spectacle of the dolphin streaking past with a vest of some sort draped over its rostrum.
Source: Turn of the Cards, Victor Milán.