roe1 / rō/ • n. (also hard roe) the mass of eggs contained in the ovaries of a female fish or shellfish, typically including the ovaries themselves, esp. when ripe and used as food. ∎ (soft roe) the ripe testes of a male fish, esp. when used as food. roe2 (also roe deer) • n. (pl. same or roes ) a small Eurasian deer (genus Capreolus) that lacks a visible tail and has a reddish summer coat that turns grayish in winter.