1 of 3


: resembling or suggesting a rogue elephant especially in being isolated, aberrant, dangerous, or uncontrollable
capsized by a rogue wave
: corrupt, dishonest
rogue cops
: of or being a nation whose leaders defy international law or norms of international behavior
rogue states


2 of 3


: a dishonest or worthless person : scoundrel
: a mischievous person : scamp
: a horse inclined to shirk or misbehave
: an individual exhibiting a chance and usually inferior biological variation
roguish adjective
roguishly adverb
roguishness noun


3 of 3


rogued; roguing or rogueing

intransitive verb

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

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
One breakdown, one bad pass-off, or one rogue decision to carry a receiver can turn this game. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, 10 Feb. 2024 The lid also screws on tightly to create a seal that will protect against rogue water. Alyssa Grabinski, Peoplemag, 2 Feb. 2024 Isiah and Nate are caught and have to escape rogue justice before they get killed. Ira Porter, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 Feb. 2024 That’s down to the fearless, uninhibited character work by Johnson as rogue CIA officer Bob Stone, who has to be one of the oddest birds this side of a Looney Tunes cartoon. Miami Staff, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 In theory—the sphere where much debate about dangerously powerful AI currently resides—this might provide a powerful new way to prevent rogue nations or irresponsible companies from secretly developing dangerous AI. Will Knight, WIRED, 25 Jan. 2024 Some theories suggest that rogue planets are more likely to be spotted on the outskirts of a star cluster. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 13 Dec. 2023 Meanwhile, Congress and the voters hold better remedies for a rogue president’s refusal to do his job. Nr Editors, National Review, 26 Jan. 2024 But another foreign trouble spot is now preoccupying Washington: the rogue nuclear state of North Korea. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, 25 Jan. 2024
This, of course, galvanizes Danvers who heroically decides to take up the case again, damn Ted and his orders, because nothing says True Detective like our heroes going rogue. Erik Kain, Forbes, 9 Feb. 2024 But some have gone rogue, joining forces with a former rebel leader and political opponents of Prime Minister Ariel Henry to demand his ouster from office Wednesday, Feb. 7. Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, 8 Feb. 2024 This, of course, was all made to look as if Cera had gone rogue, but relatively savvy consumers could tell there was an irreverent marketing team behind the curtain. Marci Robin, Allure, 8 Feb. 2024 There have also been headlines lately about one startup’s rogue attempts at launching aerosols into the atmosphere to try to stop global warming. Justine Calma, The Verge, 8 Feb. 2024 Solitude Studios went rogue during Copenhagen Fashion Week, presenting an off-schedule collection in the cool and shadowy Kongernes Lapidarium, a museum located in a 400-year-old royal brewery building filled with historical sculptures that is also used by contemporary artists. Laird Borrelli-Persson, Vogue, 5 Feb. 2024 Lawmakers often cooperate with one another, but also are free to go rogue. Erika D. Smith, Los Angeles Times, 2 Feb. 2024 The underlying problem of a rogue administration discarding federal law is one that cannot be solved by piecemeal federal court orders around the margins. The Editors, National Review, 25 Jan. 2024 Today, her rogue installations are part of downtown’s creative fabric – and local authorities are in on it. Ali Martin, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 Jan. 2024
Written for the home gardener and the more seasoned horticulturist alike, this book covers crop selection, pollination, roguing, and the processes of harvesting and storing seeds, honoring traditions, and encouraging a joy for understanding of the art and science of seed saving. Kristin Guy, Sunset Magazine, 28 Dec. 2023 The world faces myriad existential threats of varying likelihoods, from pandemics and nuclear war to rogue artificial intelligence and asteroid collisions. Globe Columnist,, 21 July 2023 No more scrambling at the end of the month to match potentially unpaid invoices to rogue payments. Peter Nesbitt, Forbes, 23 Jan. 2023 This trust has been betrayed time and time again, from tame regulators to rogue central bankers to corrupt politicians. WSJ, 6 Dec. 2022 In ‘Seven Samurai,’ Toshiro Mifune plays that rogue samurai who becomes the heart of the team. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2022 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rogue.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



derivative of rogue entry 2


of obscure origin


derivative of rogue entry 2

First Known Use


1835, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1561, in the meaning defined at sense 3


1766, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rogue was in 1561

Dictionary Entries Near rogue

Cite this Entry

“Rogue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a dishonest or wicked person
: a mischievous individual

Geographical Definition


geographical name

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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