\ 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 Clearly, says Davis, cops should be shown going rogue — that’s something that happens in real life. Washington Post, "CBS remaking its police shows for the Black Lives Matter era," 14 Oct. 2020 Turkish northern Cyprus is largely considered a rogue territory, while democratic Greek Cyprus is an EU member. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Greek–Turkish Rivalry Is Again Near the Boiling Point," 10 Sep. 2020 There's still plenty of room among the stands of milkweed, yellow coneflower and stiff goldenrod for the monarch butterflies, purple martins, ruby-throated hummingbirds, honey bees and the rogue woodchuck. Barry Adams, Star Tribune, "Reading while you walk the prairie at Madison center," 7 Sep. 2020 Take this recent Offbeat Outlaw post in which a rogue yells at his bard for seducing a dragon. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "Dungeons & Dragons TikTok Is Gen Z at Its Most Wholesome," 3 Sep. 2020 Removing a country from the terrorism list in return for compensation has a recent historical and legal precedent for the U.S. – the former rogue state Libya in 2006. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, "US offers a way off terrorism list. Is price right for Sudanese?," 2 Sep. 2020 The rogue Twitter employees allegedly accessed confidential information on at least 6,000 Twitter accounts on behalf of the Saudi government. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Report: 2015 Twitter breach targeted Saudi dissidents, led to arrests," 19 Aug. 2020 To go rogue would potentially create irreparable rifts with other conference members. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State’s Ryan Day advocates Buckeyes making own schedule if Big Ten cancels football: Is ‘going rogue’ realistic?," 11 Aug. 2020 Tech driven by machine learning carries many risks—inheriting and amplifying human prejudices, for example—but going rogue and violently attacking humanity doesn't seem likely in the immediate future. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Here’s why Apple believes it’s an AI leader—and why it says critics have it all wrong," 6 Aug. 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 Goldman for years blamed the 1MDB scandal on rogue employees, a pair of senior bankers who were criminally charged in the matter and, according to prosecutors, tried to hide the worst of their criminal conduct from superiors. Dave Michaels, WSJ, "Goldman Sachs to Pay $2.8 Billion, Admit Wrongdoing to Settle 1MDB Charges," 20 Oct. 2020 Saudi officials have asserted the killing was a tragic accident, carried out by rogue agents who disobeyed orders to persuade Khashoggi to return to the kingdom. Washington Post, "Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancee and pro-democracy group he founded sue Saudi crown prince in his slaying," 20 Oct. 2020 What’s more, other than a few rogue rain boots and color variations, most of the 75 options are identical. Eliza Huber,, "Why Are Boots For Plus-Size Women So Hard To Find?," 19 Oct. 2020 If its rogue status is confirmed, the roughly Mars-to-Earth-mass object would be the most diminutive free-floating planet ever seen. Nola Taylor Redd, Scientific American, "Rogue Rocky Planet Found Adrift in the Milky Way," 19 Oct. 2020 Williams voted to slash the DA’s budget, calling Cannizzaro a rogue actor. Matt Sledge,, "Jason Williams says he's the real reformer in district attorney race, but tax case looms," 15 Oct. 2020 Earlier this month, Kevin Ronny Williams, of Brooklyn, pleaded guilty to stealing mail in upstate New York using a Postal Service key given to him by a rogue Postal Service employee. NBC News, "Is mail theft surging in the U.S.? Postal Service inspectors don't know," 27 Sep. 2020 With no encryption, the researcher had no problem learning how the phone controlled the coffee maker and, since there was no authentication either, how a rogue phone app might do the same thing. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "When coffee makers are demanding a ransom, you know IoT is screwed," 26 Sep. 2020 Chairman Urs Rohner said surveillance wasn’t part of the bank’s culture and blamed rogue operators acting without the board’s knowledge. Patrick Winters,, "Credit Suisse to Hand Over Video in Case Linked to Spy Claim," 6 Oct. 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

21 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rogue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 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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