Definition of rostral in English:



  • 1Anatomy
    Situated or occurring near the front end of the body, especially in the region of the nose and mouth or (in an embryo) near the hypophyseal region.

    ‘the rostral portion of the brain’
    • ‘There may also be stimuli that originate from a region of the brain rostral to the pons and medulla (possibly the hypothalamus and motor cortex) and operate independently of the other stimuli.’
    • ‘The typical somatic nerve fibers in the striated muscle at the rostral end of the organ terminate in motor end plates.’
    • ‘A peristaltic contraction, a single front of contraction moving smoothly from the rostral end of the esophagus to the stomach, always follows a swallow.’
    • ‘The surgeon makes a pair of additional lesions 10 mm to 15 mm rostral and caudal to the first at each ganglion site to destroy the entire fusiform ganglion.’
    • ‘Some muscles are more effective in the rostral airway, whereas others exert their greatest effect in more caudal regions.’
  • 2Zoology
    Of or on the rostrum.

    ‘in these snakes the rostral shield is enlarged and flattened’
  • 3historical (of a column, pillar, etc.) adorned with the beakheads of ancient warships or with representations of these.


Early 19th century from rostrum+ -al.