Definition of Jane Doe in English:

Jane Doe

noun

North American
Law
  • 1An anonymous female party, typically the plaintiff, in a legal action.

    • ‘Education officials were not negligent in their duty to protect a former Jonathan Law High student from sexual exploitation by her basketball coach, a Superior Court judge has ruled. Judge Gerald Esposito dismissed the lawsuit brought by the young woman, identified in court documents only as "Jane Doe."’
    • ‘She said Jane Doe's lawyers asked Verizon to withhold her name because she was planning on challenging the subpoena.’
    1. 1.1informal A hypothetical average woman.
      • ‘Sadly, there's no shortage of John and Jane Does here: 11 of the 66 people who died on the street in 2002 and 2003 did so without anyone even knowing their names.’
      • ‘We're all Mary Sue's to him, which is the equivalent to being a Jane Doe.’
      • ‘They also named a number of anonymous Jane Does - individual consumers who have been using Napster.’
      • ‘For a Jane Doe such as myself the sight of all this hardware with massive antenna extended and satellite dishes pointing to the heavens was staggering.’
      • ‘I would assert that the true stakeholders are the John and Jane Does of this great country and all people of good-will in the civilized world regardless of their level of development.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: the female equivalent of John Doe.

Pronunciation:

Jane Doe

/dʒeɪnˈdəʊ/