\ 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

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Other Words from rogue


roguish \ ˈrō-​gish How to pronounce roguish (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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Sheidheda makes his move, and a disciple goes rogue. Nina Zafar, Washington Post, "What to watch on Wednesday: ‘World’s Most Wanted’ on Netflix," 5 Aug. 2020 But as security experts at Inc. and other sites have discovered, battling rogue apps is a lot like playing whack-a-mole. Kartikay Mehrotra, Fortune, "Instacart shoppers are battling order-grabbing bots," 1 Aug. 2020 Some will do what their AD tells them to do; others will go rogue. John Talty |, al, "What will SEC football schedule 2020 look like? The key factors in decision," 30 July 2020 The idea of a rogue great white shark like the one portrayed in Jaws is as much a fiction as the movie itself. Ret Talbot, National Geographic, "Great white sharks have returned to New England," 29 July 2020 By comparison, Gonzales’s runoff opponent, Raul Reyes Jr., has been treated like a party crashing rogue by GOP leaders. Gilbert Garcia,, "Garcia: Cruz and Trump on opposite sides of congressional runoff battle," 4 July 2020 Chris Palone, the owner of the Rail Club in Fort Worth, went rogue and opened his business in defiance of Governor Gregg Abbott's order closing bars in the state. Janet Shamlian, CBS News, "New coronavirus cases skyrocket on Fourth of July weekend," 3 July 2020 The rules of doing business at City Hall and making donations to candidates are so notoriously toothless in Los Angeles, there’s little need to go rogue. Steve Lopez Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: A city councilman is charged with racketeering, and we just yawn. That’s how bad things are," 23 June 2020 Often dismissed by Chinese as poor and chaotic, India is not in the rogue’s gallery of imperialist bullies that China’s young learn about at school. The Economist, "Chaguan Why China bullies," 18 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Forcing merchants to disclose their business names and addresses could discourage rogue sellers from listing products on the site. Washington Post, "Amazon will disclose merchant names to discourage rogue sales," 8 July 2020 His death came during a wave of violence that struck cities from Miami to Chicago over the Independence Day weekend, sparking new calls for people to get just as angry over the loss of a life taken by a person with a gun as a rogue police officer. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, "On a D.C. street beset by gun violence, calls to fix policing, not defund it," 10 July 2020 Facebook is a rogue state whose aptest analogue on the global stage is North Korea, writes Carole Cadwalladr, the journalist responsible for exposing the company’s Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "WhatsApp leader: You don’t want us eavesdropping on you, right?," 8 July 2020 The problem of police brutality was not untrained or rogue cops, but the design of America’s system of policing. Stephen M. Underhill, The Conversation, "Decades of failed reforms allow continued police brutality and racism," 6 July 2020 In some of those states, rogue electors can be replaced or fined. Alex Connor, USA TODAY, "Just another day in democracy," 6 July 2020 Following the Turkish audio leaks, the kingdom eventually settled on the explanation that the he was killed by rogue officials in a fight. Fox News, "Saudi officials go on trial in absentia in Turkey for Khashoggi murder," 4 July 2020 Saudi officials have portrayed the slaying as the work of rogue operatives. Washington Post, "Khashoggi murder trial set to begin in Turkey without defendants in attendance," 3 July 2020 Initially Saudi officials denied any knowledge of the journalist's whereabouts, then shifted to arguing that a group of rogue operators carried out the murder without the involvement of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Gul Tuysuz, CNN, "Turkey begins trial of 20 Saudis charged with the murder of Jamal Khashoggi," 3 July 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for rogue

Time Traveler

The first known use of rogue was in 1561

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Statistics for rogue

Last Updated

10 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rogue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on rogue

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rogue

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rogue

Spanish Central: Translation of rogue

Nglish: Translation of rogue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rogue for Arabic Speakers

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