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

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
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abbreviation for
  1. (in Canada and, formerly, in Britain) Department of the Environment
  2. (in the US) Department of Energy
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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").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper