\ ˈrōg How to pronounce rogue (audio) \

Definition of rogue

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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



Definition of rogue (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a dishonest or worthless person : scoundrel
2 : a mischievous person : scamp
3 : vagrant, tramp
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 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

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

Other Words from rogue


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

Examples of rogue in a Sentence

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 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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Evans stars as psychopathic rogue secret agent Lloyd Hansen, who's hunting down a former CIA colleague played by Ryan Gosling. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 14 June 2022 Meanwhile, Harper and his FBI protégée, Angela (Alia Shawkat), lead the hunt for Chase, though secretly Harper wants the rogue agent's story — and his role in it — to stay buried. Leah Greenblatt,, 10 June 2022 Rhodes has said in interviews with right-wing hosts that there was no plan to storm the Capitol and that the members who did so went rogue. The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 June 2022 In Season 3, Lamb’s disgraced spies work together to foil a rogue agent when one of their own is kidnapped. Joe Otterson, Variety, 1 June 2022 Pitts also contended that Burgos had gone rogue and sometimes acted surreptitiously. New York Times, 11 May 2022 As head of an office that has more than 350 attorneys, Clarke will play a key role in the Biden administration’s efforts to enforce civil rights and voting rights laws and to investigate rogue police forces. Los Angeles Times, 25 May 2021 The streamer is positioning the test as a prompt to let members comply with its terms, not a crackdown on rogue behavior. Todd Spangler, Variety, 17 Mar. 2022 Then California became a rogue state and called the NCAA on its scam. Joseph Goodman |, al, 11 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Companies tend to deploy too many apps, and that often doesn’t include rogue, unsanctioned apps. Jim Brennan, Forbes, 18 May 2022 Waterproof mascara formulations prevent the waxy pigments of traditional lash-enhancers from going rogue and can keep lashes looking thick, long, and lifted for hours on end without smudging, caking, or flaking. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, 4 May 2022 When that happens, the planets go rogue and begin wandering aimlessly through the dark of space. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 24 Dec. 2021 One of the rogue deputies was Teodoro Garcia Simental. San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 May 2022 The latest member of the rogue’s gallery of variants and subvariants is the ungainly named BA.2.12.1, part of the omicron gang. Joel Achenbach, Anchorage Daily News, 2 May 2022 By hitting Russia’s commercial banks, central bank, business and political leaders and industry, the West is meting out economic punishment that took years to unfold with smaller rogue states like Iran and North Korea. Greg Ip, WSJ, 1 Mar. 2022 So in the face of its invasion of Ukraine, why is the West reluctant to hit it with the full range of available economic sanctions as has been done with other rogue states? Chris Isidore, CNN, 26 Feb. 2022 Maybe people want to go rogue and do their own thing. Washington Post, 19 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Zero-Trust protects against both account compromises and rogue internal accounts. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 24 June 2021 Trump is not a pharmaceutical manufacturer that can go rogue and produce a vaccine. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 16 Sep. 2020 But a conservative Court of Appeals panel could rogue and decide to disobey Roe and Casey. Dylan Matthews, Vox, 11 July 2018 See More

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.

First Known Use of rogue


1835, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1561, in the meaning defined at sense 3


1766, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rogue


derivative of rogue entry 2


of obscure origin


derivative of rogue entry 2

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Last Updated

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rogue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for rogue


\ ˈrōg How to pronounce rogue (audio) \

Kids Definition of rogue

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

Rogue geographical name

\ ˈrōg How to pronounce Rogue (audio) \

Definition of Rogue

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

More from Merriam-Webster on rogue

Nglish: Translation of rogue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rogue for Arabic Speakers


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