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noun, plural does, (especially collectively) doe.
  1. the female of the deer, antelope, goat, rabbit, and certain other animals.

Origin of doe

before 1000; Middle English do, Old English dā; cognate with Danish daa; akin to Old English dēon to suck
Can be confuseddoe dough


  1. Department of Energy.
  2. Also d.o.e. depends on experience; depending on experience: used in stating a salary range in help-wanted ads. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for doe


noun plural does or doe
  1. the female of the deer, hare, rabbit, and certain other animals

Word Origin for doe

Old English dā; related to Old English dēon to suck, Sanskrit dhēnā cow


  1. law (formerly) the plaintiff in a fictitious action, Doe versus Roe, to test a point of lawSee also Roe
  2. John Doe or Jane Doe US an unknown or unidentified male or female person



abbreviation for
  1. (in Canada and, formerly, in Britain) Department of the Environment
  2. (in the US) Department of Energy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for doe

Old English da "a female deer," of unknown origin, perhaps a Celtic loan-word (cf. Cornish da "fallow deer," Old Irish dam "ox," Welsh dafad "sheep").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper