\ 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 Barnes dismisses talk that conferences could go rogue and play a football schedule even if other conferences are delayed or can’t play because of state restrictions. oregonlive, "Oregon State athletic director Scott Barnes: There will be college football, and we will not cut sports in 2020-21," 8 May 2020 And that only scrapes the surface of this grimy rogue’s gallery. Kim Kelly, The New Republic, "The Grim New Relevance of Workers Memorial Day," 28 Apr. 2020 Well, almost rogue—while North Korea likes to present itself as a self-sufficient power in its own right that can go toe-to-toe with Western powers, the reality is that the Hermit Kingdom relies heavily on China. Ian Bremmer, Time, "What Happens Next with North Korea Following Those Kim Jong-un Rumors," 24 Apr. 2020 Further Reading Nasty Android malware reinfects its targets, and no one knows how The analysis found that the unusual persistence was the result of rogue folders containing a trojan installer, neither of which was removed by a reset. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "The secret behind “unkillable” Android backdoor called xHelper has been revealed," 16 Apr. 2020 Social distancing has emerged as the best tool to protect people from the rogue virus. oregonlive, "COVID-19 onslaught continues as Columbia Sportswear furloughs 3,500," 10 Apr. 2020 McCrum blamed a rogue accountant at Alfaro’s Primera Energy for trying to bring down the company. Patrick Danner,, "Coronavirus risk spurs San Antonio oilman’s release from jail," 27 Mar. 2020 The church would reopen in 2012, but the church’s rogue pastor Rev. Robert Marrone and his congregation did not appear interested in returning. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland, "2010, the year LeBron left Cleveland and the commissioners left Cuyahoga County: The biggest stories of the 2010s," 17 Dec. 2019 Pilots involved in a rogue helicopter rescue mission that saved a number of lives after the eruption have also pushed for a definitive timetable on the salvage operation. Rebecca Wright, Will Ripley And Matthew Mckew, CNN, "Military to attempt retrieval of remaining bodies from New Zealand volcano," 12 Dec. 2019 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 Zélie allies herself with a rogue princess in an effort to avenge her mother and restore magic to the world. Meghan Herbst, Wired, "Hey Kids! Read These Books on Your Very. Long. Summer," 20 May 2020 Just because the landscape industry may recommend non-native varieties, there’s no guarantee some won’t go rogue down the road. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "How to avoid invasive plants in Wisconsin, and prevent costly, frustrating problems," 7 May 2020 Place a shallow boot tray under pet food and water bowls to catch drips and contain rogue kibble crumbs. Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping, "5 Hassle-Free Ways to Clean Up After Pets—No Vacuum Required," 1 May 2020 When used to analyze tumors, scRNA seq has revealed that cancer is not simply a breakdown of the developmental process, a glitch that produces rogue, uncontrolled cell proliferation. Philip Ball, Scientific American, "Close-Up Views of Tumors Reveal a New Cancer Biology," 21 Apr. 2020 So throughout the '90s, and especially after the horrific attacks on 9/11, the United States really focused on two things, rogue nations such as North Korea, Iran, Iraq in the 1990s, and then after 2001, terrorism. CBS News, "Transcript: Former top defense official Robert Work on "Intelligence Matters"," 11 Mar. 2020 Experts say two economies exist in the rogue nation: one run by the state and another run underground, which has led to there being two prices for everything. Fox News, "The world's remaining communist countries, and how they're faring economically," 23 Feb. 2020 In 2010, the White House announced a fundamental shift in US nuclear strategy that called the spread of atomic weapons to rogue states or terrorists a worse threat than the nuclear Armageddon feared during the Cold War., "This day in history," 6 Apr. 2020 Polyhero dispenses with traditional dice shapes, instead turning rogue-themed objects into random number generators. Popular Science, "Polyhedral gaming dice are the weapons of your imagination," 9 Apr. 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

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rogue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 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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