- a skate, Raja clavata, of European waters, having short spines on the back and tail.
- a California ray, Platyrhinoidis triseriatus, belonging to the guitarfish group.
Origin of thornback
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for thornback
It is quite easy to understand why the name of thornback was given to him.The Animal World, A Book of Natural History
The Thornback has two immense fins, two great wings to cleave the waves.The Sea
The Thornback Skate is covered with prickles (placoid scales).Stories of the Universe: Animal Life
The boy gave a curious half-sad smile, without turning his eyes from the thornback, and said nothing.Weighed and Wanting
"Antient maides" were held in little esteem by him; not one thornback is on his list.Customs and Fashions in Old New England
Alice Morse Earle
- a European ray, Raja clavata, having a row of spines along the back and tail
- a similar fish, Platyrhinoidis triseriata, of the Pacific Ocean