1 [roh]
the mass of eggs, or spawn, within the ovarian membrane of the female fish.
the milt or sperm of the male fish.
the eggs of any of various crustaceans, as the coral of the lobster.

1400–50; late Middle English rowe; cognate with Old High German rogo Unabridged


2 [roh]
noun, plural roes (especially collectively) roe.

before 900; Middle English roo, Old English rā, rāha; cognate with German Reh


return on equity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
roe1 (rəʊ)
1.  Also called: hard roe the ovary of a female fish filled with mature eggs
2.  Also called: soft roe the testis of a male fish filled with mature sperm
3.  the ripe ovary of certain crustaceans, such as the lobster
[C15: from Middle Dutch roge, from Old High German roga; related to Old Norse hrogn]

roe2 (rəʊ)
n , pl roes, roe
short for roe deer
[Old English (ha), related to Old High German rēh(o), Old Norse ]

Roe (rəʊ)
law Richard Roe See also Doe (formerly) the defendant in a fictitious action, Doe versus Roe, to test a point of law

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"fish eggs," c.1400, corresponding to O.N. hrogn, Flem. rog, M.L.G. and M.Du. roge, O.H.G. rogo "roe," from P.Gmc. *khrugna, corresponding to PIE *qreq- "spawn" (cf. Lith. kurkle, Rus. krjak "spawn of frogs"). Exact relations of the Gmc. words are uncertain.

"small deer," O.E. ra, from raha, from P.Gmc. *raikhon (cf. O.N. ra, Du. ree, O.H.G. reho, Ger. Reh "doe"), perhaps from PIE base *rei- "streaked, spotted." Roebuck is c.1400, from roe + buck.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
roe   (rō)  Pronunciation Key 
The eggs of a fish, often together with the membrane of the ovary in which they are held.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. residue on evaporation

  2. return on equity

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Roe definition

(Heb. tsebi), properly the gazelle (Arab. ghazal), permitted for food (Deut. 14:5; comp. Deut. 12:15, 22; 15:22; 1 Kings 4:23), noted for its swiftness and beauty and grace of form (2 Sam. 2:18; 1 Chr. 12:8; Cant. 2:9; 7:3; 8:14). The gazelle (Gazella dorcas) is found in great numbers in Palestine. "Among the gray hills of Galilee it is still 'the roe upon the mountains of Bether,' and I have seen a little troop of gazelles feeding on the Mount of Olives close to Jerusalem itself" (Tristram). The Hebrew word ('ayyalah) in Prov. 5: 19 thus rendered (R.V., "doe"), is properly the "wild she-goat," the mountain goat, the ibex. (See 1 Sam. 24:2; Ps. 104:18; Job 39:1.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Britannica


either the mass of eggs of a female fish (hard roe) or the mass of sperm, or milt, of a male fish (soft roe), considered as food. The most prized of hard roes is that of the sturgeon, from which caviar (q.v.) is made. The eggs of a number of fish are eaten, often after having been salted or smoked. Smoked cod roe is popular in Great Britain; tarama, salted carp roe, is the base of taramasalata, a Greek appetizer spread. Soft roes can be poached or sauteed and are sometimes served as hors d'oeuvres or light entrees. Other fish roes especially prized are those of herring, mackerel, mullet, salmon, shad, and sole. Sea urchin roe is a local delicacy of coastal areas, eaten raw or lightly cooked.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
IT is not quite spring yet, but shad and shad roe are already in the market.
Fishermen harvest the rich herring population primarily for the roe.
On this day, the fishermen debate which is tastier, mullet roe fried intact in its membrane or chopped and scrambled with eggs.
Cut the pairs of roe in half, taking care not to damage the membrane.
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