Definition of thornback in US English:


(also thornback ray)


  • A ray of shallow inshore waters which has spines on the back and tail.

    a prickly skinned European ray that is often eaten as “skate” (Raja clavata, family Rajidae)

    a ray that lives in the warm waters of the Pacific (Platyrhinoidis triseriata, family Platyrhinidae)

    • ‘Although thornbacks are found throughout UK waters, as always there are certain key areas that give you a better than average chance.’
    • ‘For a while we thought it might be a smallish skate, but it turned out to be a nice thornback of around twelve pounds.’
    • ‘Although they do not undergo a distinct migration, thornbacks appear to move inshore slightly to spawn.’
    • ‘The most common are dragonets, topknots, dabs, plaice and, if you're lucky, the occasional anglerfish and thornback ray.’
    • ‘The best ray for eating, and the one best known in Europe, is Raja clavata, the thornback ray.’