\ ˈrōg How to pronounce rogue (audio) \

Definition of rogue

 (Entry 1 of 4)

2 : a dishonest or worthless person : scoundrel
3 : a mischievous person : scamp
4 : a horse inclined to shirk or misbehave
5 : an individual exhibiting a chance and usually inferior biological variation


rogued; roguing or rogueing

Definition of rogue (Entry 2 of 4)

intransitive verb

: to weed out inferior, diseased, or nontypical individuals from a crop plant or a field



Definition of rogue (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : resembling or suggesting a rogue elephant especially in being isolated, aberrant, dangerous, or uncontrollable capsized by a rogue wave
2 : corrupt, dishonest rogue cops
3 : of or being a nation whose leaders defy international law or norms of international behavior rogue states
go rogue
: to begin to behave in an independent or uncontrolled way that is not authorized, normal, or expected Before the Clemson Tigers played Notre Dame in Arlington, Texas on Saturday, Clark [a bald eagle] was supposed to fly around the stadium, high above people's heads. But instead, he went rogue and decided to perch on two unsuspecting fans.— Nicole Gallucci Anders had been sent to the Amazon to monitor the program's progress under the formidable Dr. Annick Swensen (who may have gone rogue and is no longer returning the company's calls).— Yvonne Zipp Whenever a member of a group goes rogue, you can be absolutely certain that other members of that group will pop up with the "bad apple" defense, as in, "Well, sure, there's a few bad apples in every bunch, but that's the exception."— Christine Flowers


geographical name
\ ˈrōg How to pronounce Rogue (audio) \

Definition of Rogue (Entry 4 of 4)

river about 200 miles (320 kilometers) long in southwestern Oregon rising in Crater Lake National Park and flowing west and southwest into the Pacific Ocean

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from rogue


roguish \ ˈrō-​gish How to pronounce Rogue (audio) \ adjective
roguishly adverb
roguishness noun

Examples of rogue in a Sentence

Noun Many of the vagabonds were rogues and cheaters of various kinds, and formed a subcommunity on the fringes of official society. — Charles Barber, Early Modern English, 1976 Cartier decided that the two boys were a choice pair of rogues who would probably try to run him aground if taken as pilots, and that he would dispense with their services. — Samuel Eliot Morison, The European Discovery of America, 1971 His account of their discoveries in the low life of a seaport town would have made a charming book, and in the various characters that came their way the student might easily have found matter for a very complete dictionary of rogues. — W. Somerset Maugham, Moon and Sixpence, 1919 He's a lovable old rogue. a rogue who had nothing but contempt for people who made their living honestly Adjective Americans assume that our country was built by rogue males but there's more to the breed than wanderlust and rugged individualism. — Florence King, National Review, 27 Aug. 2007 Perhaps more important, defense planners worried for the past year about the instability of the Soviet Union and the nightmare that a rogue Soviet submarine skipper might decide on his own to launch close to 200 warheads at U.S. targets. — John Barry, Newsweek, 3 June 1991 In "The In-Laws," Alan Arkin is a dentist led astray by a rogue C.I.A. operative …  , whose son his daughter is marrying, and he winds up dodging bullets on a Caribbean island. — Terrence Rafferty, New Yorker, 30 July 1990 a rogue administrator who took bribes to falsify paperwork
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When the Big Ten postponed the season in August, the Cornhuskers threatened to go rogue and arrange their own games. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Big Ten's 2020 winners, losers: While Michigan football suffered, Michigan State actually won," 28 Dec. 2020 Every trip through Hades' labyrinth reveals new bits of character motivation and back story for a rogue's gallery of Greek gods, demons, and supernatural hangers-on. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Ars Technica’s best games of 2020," 22 Dec. 2020 His father, Ronnie, was an inveterate con man, gambler and rogue. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "John le Carré, who lifted the spy novel to literature, dies at 89," 13 Dec. 2020 The movie, hailed for its realistic depiction of space flight, features a computer named HAL who goes rogue, commandeering the voyage and killing the astronauts. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "The best A.I. movies and TV shows," 8 Dec. 2020 Flynn, inspired by cinema’s greatest swashbuckler Errol Flynn, is the most irresistible of hero tropes: the rogue with a heart of gold. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Why Tangled is better than Frozen — and deserves more love," 24 Nov. 2020 It was modeled after the rogue Twitter accounts that cropped up after the 2016 election and this funny idea that there were people running around behind the scenes in the White House and government agencies sort of telling the truth. Shira Hanau,, "Creators of the anonymous RogueShul Twitter account reveal their identities," 11 Nov. 2020 Some states fine or replace electors who try to go rogue, but Ohio isn't one of them. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, "Trump won Ohio and Kentucky. What happens next with the Electoral College?," 9 Nov. 2020 The Supreme Court ruled July 6 that states can punish faithless electors who go rogue. USA Today, "How the Electoral College works – and how it impacted battleground states in 2020," 5 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Trump is not a pharmaceutical manufacturer that can go rogue and produce a vaccine. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "There Is No Trump Vaccine," 16 Sep. 2020 But a conservative Court of Appeals panel could rogue and decide to disobey Roe and Casey. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "America under Brett Kavanaugh," 11 July 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Second, we are reminded, by Garrow and Gage, of an awkward truth—that Hoover’s F.B.I. was not some rogue outfit but a core component of the existing social structure, welded firmly to public opinion. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“MLK/FBI” Forbids Us to Relax," 15 Jan. 2021 Stadler’s testimony stuck close to the standard corporate defense that any engine manipulation was the fault of a group of rogue engineers. Christoph Rauwald,, "Ex-Audi CEO Blames Engineers’ ‘Salami’ Tactics for Diesel Woes," 12 Jan. 2021 Despite vows to crack down, the Sheriff’s Department has long been criticized for failing to rein in rogue deputy cliques that allegedly encourage violence and other forms of misconduct. Waylon Cunningham, Los Angeles Times, "These ‘rogue’ deputies were fired. So how did the Jump Out Boys win back their badges?," 1 Jan. 2021 At the same time, federal, state and local law-enforcement agencies wanted enhanced protections against the dangers posed by the possibility of rogue, hostile or terrorist drones. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "FAA Issues Long-Anticipated Rules for Commercial Drones," 29 Dec. 2020 There’s no word yet on how rogue winemaking and the WTTP raid will affect their ranking. Michael Alberty | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Bootleg blueberry wine triggers Alabama sewage plant raid," 24 Dec. 2020 Additionally, the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act is crucial to enforcing copyrights by fixing the streaming ‘loophole,’ which has allowed rogue enterprises to run rampant and profit without the necessary law enforcement tools to prosecute them. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "Music Biz Applauds Pandemic Aid Package: 'These Relief Provisions Will Save Lives and Livelihoods'," 21 Dec. 2020 An outside security expert, not briefed by Amazon, worried about rogue devices on Sidewalk. Rob Pegoraro, USA TODAY, "Amazon wants your devices to talk to each other. Should you take a walk on Sidewalk?," 20 Dec. 2020 AG Barr crushed the propaganda generated by Mueller against President Trump and preserved our Republic from the rogue FBI and Special Counsel’s efforts to undermine the 2016 election based on a bogus theory of Russian collusion. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "'Crushed propaganda generated by Mueller': Pompeo commends Barr," 15 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rogue.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of rogue


1561, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1766, in the meaning defined above


1835, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rogue


of obscure origin


derivative of rogue entry 1


derivative of rogue entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rogue

Time Traveler for rogue

Time Traveler

The first known use of rogue was in 1561

See more words from the same year

Statistics for rogue

Last Updated

7 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rogue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rogue


How to pronounce Rogue (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rogue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

old-fashioned : a man who is dishonest or immoral
: a man who causes trouble in a playful way



English Language Learners Definition of rogue (Entry 2 of 2)

used to describe something or someone that is different from others in usually a dangerous or harmful way


\ ˈrōg How to pronounce rogue (audio) \

Kids Definition of rogue

1 : a dishonest or evil person
2 : a pleasantly mischievous person

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on rogue

What made you want to look up rogue? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!