Definition of rogue in English:



  • 1A dishonest or unprincipled man.

    ‘you are a rogue and an embezzler’
    • ‘He began the war fighting for the Union, and it's unknown why he switched sides, perhaps because as the leader of a band of guerrilla warriors he could indulge his life as a rogue.’
    • ‘Beginning in sixteenth-century England, a distinct criminal culture of rogues, vagabonds, gypsies, beggars, cony-catchers, cutpurses, and prostitutes emerged and flourished.’
    • ‘Before she can marry the prince, she finds herself kidnapped by a gang of rogues led by Vizzini.’
    • ‘The idea of a band of hardcrabble rogues having a political awakening is an incredibly cool one, but it never means anything.’
    • ‘How can you make a philandering cheater, who works his way through a family of sisters, anything but a rogue and a rat?’
    • ‘In these tales, John may assume the posture of a rogue, naive rascal, or fool when he encounters an oppressive master who reminds him of his limited possibilities on the plantation.’
    • ‘He plays John Smith, an English rogue and explorer who comes to the shores of America in chains.’
    • ‘After a brief apprenticeship to a surgeon, and accompanied by an old schoolfellow, the innocent man travels to London, where he encounters various rogues.’
    • ‘Then there is Kawada, one of the transfer pupils, a mysterious rogue who may hold the key to getting them off alive.’
    • ‘He is so convincingly cocky you want to slap him for being such a rogue.’
    • ‘Citizen Kane is the study of one man, both a hero and a rogue, a principled egotist who wanted others to love him, but only on his terms.’
    • ‘Don Quijote is eager to challenge the rogue and the Duke says he will take care of all the arrangements and have it take place at the castle.’
    • ‘On his part, he had no doubts that the claimant was an impostor and his supporters fools and rogues.’
    • ‘The count is a merciless rogue who reminds me of Orson Welles in Citizen Kane, only more megalomaniacal.’
    • ‘It was made for the virtuosic talents of Mikhail Baryshnikov, and it cleverly transformed him from upright ballet hero into bowler-hatted womanizing rogue.’
    • ‘Spade's a rogue who looks at the odds on everything before making a choice.’
    • ‘He is a great actor and seeing him go from lost rogue to confused son to driven billionnaire to a conflicted hero is a blast.’
    scoundrel, villain, reprobate, rascal, good-for-nothing, wretch
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    1. 1.1 A person whose behaviour one disapproves of but who is nonetheless likeable or attractive.
      ‘Cenzo, you old rogue!’
      • ‘The presence of these loveable rogues drew crowds to enjoy their banter and rapid-fire wit.’
      • ‘With a new actor assaying the role, Dov ceases to be a charming rogue and becomes a bit of a jerk.’
      • ‘He plays the likeable rogue who uses an outlawed method of fishing: blowing the fish out of the water with dynamite.’
      • ‘We can very readily identify with the lovable rogues that sauntered across the western landscapes.’
      • ‘Talon in particular is supposed to be a charming, irreverent rogue with a ready sense of humor.’
      • ‘It made me wonder what the old rogue would have made of it all.’
      • ‘He is a likeable enough rogue, worthy of lenient treatment by this Court.’
      • ‘The story follows loveable Irish rogue Jimmy who is imprisoned, with his partner-in-crime Rudy, after a bungled robbery.’
      • ‘If you know anything about Colin in real life it's that he's something of a rogue.’
      • ‘He seems like a genuinely kind and caring man - a bit of a rogue, but not a malicious one.’
      • ‘In fact, it's difficult to know whether it's a comedy at all, or just an entertaining movie about likeable rogues.’
      • ‘He was also remarkably a versatile actor, excelling equally well at noble princes and light-hearted rogues.’
      • ‘Bob was celebrated as a lovable rogue with a brilliantly creative mind.’
      • ‘Always a rugged charmer in days gone by, he retains these traits as a loveable rogue in this film.’
      • ‘He plays David as a charismatic rogue - someone the audience is supposed to recognize as a bit of a scoundrel, but like nevertheless.’
      • ‘It's difficult not to fall in love with Ollie, the loveable rogue who can never get it right, and Affleck cleverly balances the comedy with the drama to create a fantastic leading man.’
      • ‘Grant's affable rogue has sufficient spirit to lift the farce.’
      • ‘Pristine turns to see Lance is still smiling like the handsome rogue he is.’
      • ‘The other is Ifans, who for too long has been typecast as a loveable rogue.’
      • ‘Joe, an aging thief, serves as the film's charming rogue, desperate for money and a clean getaway.’
      scamp, rascal, imp, devil, monkey, mischief-maker
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  • 2usually as modifier An elephant or other large wild animal living apart from the herd and having savage or destructive tendencies.

    ‘a rogue elephant’
    • ‘The film describes the hunting down of a rogue elephant in Assam.’
    • ‘Embarrassed, Nadeem changed the subject to the damage a rogue elephant can do.’
    1. 2.1 A person or thing that behaves in an aberrant or unpredictable way, typically with damaging or dangerous effects.
      ‘he hacked into data and ran rogue programs’
      ‘a rogue cop who took the law into his own hands’
      • ‘Poor quality paving work by rogue traders has left homeowners facing massive repair bills.’
      • ‘These rogue molecules corrupt healthy cells - a process that ultimately underlies cellular aging.’
      • ‘To add more fuel to the fire, the entire break-in happens in front of a rogue FBI agent who is staking out Zammeti's house from across the street.’
      • ‘Without heat or gas on a bitter winter night, the rogue residents nonetheless resist distant relocation.’
      • ‘A rogue Russian rapscallion uses random acts of terror to advance his cause, which is never fully explained.’
      • ‘Rogue states and terrorists do not seek to attack us using conventional means.’
      • ‘There are still rogue casino operators out there that are looking for a quick kill but they are in the minority.’
      • ‘For the Northern Great Plains, outbreaks of this rogue RNA molecule in winter wheat can mean big losses.’
      • ‘He soon appears as Luther evades capture by the local police, the rogue Secret Service agents and Sullivan's hired assassin.’
      • ‘Did anyone you researched think of themselves not as rogue scientists but as outsider artists, with a sheen of irony around their projects?’
      • ‘The Enterprise gang finds a planet where the normal social order has been altered by a rogue Starfleet captain looking to save his own life.’
      • ‘Both sequels are based on Robert Ludlum novels about a rogue CIA super assassin.’
      • ‘Are these rogue sciences crimes against nature?’
      • ‘The story turns rote, like a billion spy novels where the rogue agent has to meet his superiors and turn the tables.’
      • ‘Proving he's just as effective at psychological warfare, Hannibal bugs their uniforms and messes with their minds until the rogue cops give themselves up.’
      • ‘A new documentary that premiered at the Sundance festival film last week argues that these rogue companies aren't the exception, they're the rule.’
      • ‘The cheerful officer takes over the station, just as a rogue Minbari warship comes looking for trouble.’
      • ‘With organic farming, songs from k d lang and some cracking yodelling from our rogue maverick rap star, complaints should only raise a whisper.’
      • ‘A better film would have been the battle between the rogue FBI agent and convict vs. the enigmatic Brother Payne.’
      • ‘The police and the press surround the rogue aircraft and await its inhabitants to depart.’
    2. 2.2 A seedling or plant deviating from the standard variety.


  • Remove inferior or defective plants or seedlings from (a crop)

    ‘the sowing has to be rogued to remove aberrant seedlings’
    • ‘Most varieties require careful roguing and selection to maintain or improve them.’
    • ‘If the inspector finds too many plants with virus, the grower needs to clean up the field by roguing and carrying the diseased plants out of the field.’
    • ‘The best management for soybean mosaic virus is to use virus-free seed and rogue out infected plants in seed production fields.’
    • ‘Major characteristics to consider when it comes to roguing are general plant stem and leaves, and pod wall colour at maturity.’
    • ‘Most varieties won't be found in the US and many of the older ones have degenerated from the original because of being raised from seed not properly rogued.’


Mid 16th century (denoting an idle vagrant): probably from Latin rogare ‘beg, ask’, and related to obsolete slang roger ‘vagrant beggar’ (many such cant terms were introduced towards the middle of the 16th century).