Definition of rough fish in English:

rough fish


  • Treated as plural. Fish of inferior quality, especially those of a species considered too coarse or ill-tasting for general consumption, or unsuitable for sportfishing, and hence formerly caught or bought chiefly by the poor; sometimes opposed to game fish. Also in singular: a fish of this sort.


Mid 18th century (in an earlier sense). From rough + fish. With the specific use in quot. 1763 at sense 1 compare earlier ruffe.


rough fish

/ˈrʌf ˌfɪʃ/