Share this entry

Share this page

John Doe

Syllabification: John Doe
Pronunciation: /ˌjän ˈdō
 
/

Definition of John Doe in English:

noun

North American Law
1An anonymous party, typically the plaintiff, in a legal action.
Example sentences
  • For prosecutors, indicting John Does through their DNA might seem more than fair.
  • More to the point, if he really does want to use the DMCA to subpoena the information why not file a John Doe lawsuit and then subpoena the information?
  • ‘We have arrest warrants for everybody that we want to arrest, including the John Does,’ she said.
1.1 informal A hypothetical average man.
Example sentences
  • Dan, we only have a few seconds left, but there has been some speculation in resent days, fresh speculation, about a John Doe number two.
  • They're simply interviews that were trying to obtain the location of a John Doe.
  • The lawsuit does not mention the names of players or exact dates; it simply lists 500 players as John Does 1 to 500.

Origin

mid 18th century: originally in legal use as a name of a fictitious plaintiff, corresponding to Richard Roe, used to represent the defendant.

Definition of John Doe in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day resilient
Pronunciation: rɪˈzɪlɪənt
adjective
able to recoil or spring back into shape…