Definition of rogue in US English:



  • 1A dishonest or unprincipled man.

    ‘you are a rogue and an embezzler’
    • ‘He plays John Smith, an English rogue and explorer who comes to the shores of America in chains.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Beginning in sixteenth-century England, a distinct criminal culture of rogues, vagabonds, gypsies, beggars, cony-catchers, cutpurses, and prostitutes emerged and flourished.’
    • ‘It was made for the virtuosic talents of Mikhail Baryshnikov, and it cleverly transformed him from upright ballet hero into bowler-hatted womanizing 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.’
    • ‘The idea of a band of hardcrabble rogues having a political awakening is an incredibly cool one, but it never means anything.’
    • ‘Then there is Kawada, one of the transfer pupils, a mysterious rogue who may hold the key to getting them off alive.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘How can you make a philandering cheater, who works his way through a family of sisters, anything but a rogue and a rat?’
    • ‘The count is a merciless rogue who reminds me of Orson Welles in Citizen Kane, only more megalomaniacal.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Before she can marry the prince, she finds herself kidnapped by a gang of rogues led by Vizzini.’
    • ‘On his part, he had no doubts that the claimant was an impostor and his supporters fools and rogues.’
    • ‘He is so convincingly cocky you want to slap him for being such a rogue.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Spade's a rogue who looks at the odds on everything before making a choice.’
    • ‘After a brief apprenticeship to a surgeon, and accompanied by an old schoolfellow, the innocent man travels to London, where he encounters various rogues.’
    scoundrel, villain, reprobate, rascal, good-for-nothing, wretch
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    1. 1.1 A person whose behavior one disapproves of but who is nonetheless likable or attractive (often used as a playful term of reproof)
      ‘Cenzo, you old rogue!’
      • ‘The story follows loveable Irish rogue Jimmy who is imprisoned, with his partner-in-crime Rudy, after a bungled robbery.’
      • ‘He is a likeable enough rogue, worthy of lenient treatment by this Court.’
      • ‘He plays the likeable rogue who uses an outlawed method of fishing: blowing the fish out of the water with dynamite.’
      • ‘Pristine turns to see Lance is still smiling like the handsome rogue he is.’
      • ‘We can very readily identify with the lovable rogues that sauntered across the western landscapes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Grant's affable rogue has sufficient spirit to lift the farce.’
      • ‘Always a rugged charmer in days gone by, he retains these traits as a loveable rogue in this film.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The presence of these loveable rogues drew crowds to enjoy their banter and rapid-fire wit.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He plays David as a charismatic rogue - someone the audience is supposed to recognize as a bit of a scoundrel, but like nevertheless.’
      • ‘He was also remarkably a versatile actor, excelling equally well at noble princes and light-hearted rogues.’
      • ‘With a new actor assaying the role, Dov ceases to be a charming rogue and becomes a bit of a jerk.’
      • ‘In fact, it's difficult to know whether it's a comedy at all, or just an entertaining movie about likeable rogues.’
      • ‘Bob was celebrated as a lovable rogue with a brilliantly creative mind.’
      scamp, rascal, imp, devil, monkey, mischief-maker
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  • 2usually as modifier An elephant or other large wild animal driven away or living apart from the herd and having savage or destructive tendencies.

    ‘a rogue elephant’
    • ‘Embarrassed, Nadeem changed the subject to the damage a rogue elephant can do.’
    • ‘The film describes the hunting down of a rogue elephant in Assam.’
    1. 2.1 A person or thing that behaves in an aberrant, faulty, or unpredictable way.
      ‘he hacked into data and ran rogue programs’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Did anyone you researched think of themselves not as rogue scientists but as outsider artists, with a sheen of irony around their projects?’
      • ‘For the Northern Great Plains, outbreaks of this rogue RNA molecule in winter wheat can mean big losses.’
      • ‘The police and the press surround the rogue aircraft and await its inhabitants to depart.’
      • ‘Without heat or gas on a bitter winter night, the rogue residents nonetheless resist distant relocation.’
      • ‘Poor quality paving work by rogue traders has left homeowners facing massive repair bills.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A rogue Russian rapscallion uses random acts of terror to advance his cause, which is never fully explained.’
      • ‘There are still rogue casino operators out there that are looking for a quick kill but they are in the minority.’
      • ‘These rogue molecules corrupt healthy cells - a process that ultimately underlies cellular aging.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He soon appears as Luther evades capture by the local police, the rogue Secret Service agents and Sullivan's hired assassin.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A better film would have been the battle between the rogue FBI agent and convict vs. the enigmatic Brother Payne.’
      • ‘The story turns rote, like a billion spy novels where the rogue agent has to meet his superiors and turn the tables.’
      • ‘Rogue states and terrorists do not seek to attack us using conventional means.’
    2. 2.2 An inferior or defective specimen among many satisfactory ones, especially a seedling or plant deviating from the standard variety.


[with object]
  • Remove inferior or defective plants or seedlings from (a crop).

    • ‘Major characteristics to consider when it comes to roguing are general plant stem and leaves, and pod wall colour at maturity.’
    • ‘Most varieties require careful roguing and selection to maintain or improve them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The best management for soybean mosaic virus is to use virus-free seed and rogue out infected plants in seed production fields.’
    • ‘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.’


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).