1. a dishonest, knavish person; scoundrel.
  2. a playfully mischievous person; scamp: The youngest boys are little rogues.
  3. a tramp or vagabond.
  4. a rogue elephant or other animal of similar disposition.
  5. Biology. a usually inferior organism, especially a plant, varying markedly from the normal.

verb (used without object), rogued, ro·guing.

  1. to live or act as a rogue.

verb (used with object), rogued, ro·guing.

  1. to cheat.
  2. to uproot or destroy (plants, etc., that do not conform to a desired standard).
  3. to perform this operation upon: to rogue a field.


  1. (of an animal) having an abnormally savage or unpredictable disposition, as a rogue elephant.
  2. no longer obedient, belonging, or accepted and hence not controllable or answerable; renegade: a rogue cop; a rogue union local.


  1. a dishonest or unprincipled person, esp a man; rascal; scoundrel
  2. often jocular a mischievous or wayward person, often a child; scamp
  3. a crop plant which is inferior, diseased, or of a different, unwanted variety
    1. any inferior or defective specimen
    2. (as modifier)rogue heroin
  4. archaic a vagrant
    1. an animal of vicious character that has separated from the main herd and leads a solitary life
    2. (as modifier)a rogue elephant


    1. (tr)to rid (a field or crop) of plants that are inferior, diseased, or of an unwanted variety
    2. to identify and remove such plants

1560s, “idle vagrant,” perhaps a shortened form of roger (with a hard -g-), thieves’ slang for a begging vagabond who pretends to be a poor scholar from Oxford or Cambridge, which is perhaps an agent noun in English from Latin rogare “to ask.” Another theory [Klein] traces it to Celtic (cf. Breton rog “haughty”); OED says, “There is no evidence of connexion with F. rogue ‘arrogant.’ “

In playful or affectionate use, “one who is mischievous,” 1590s. Meaning “large wild beast living apart from the herd” is from 1859, originally of elephants. Meaning “something uncontrolled or undisciplined” is from 1964. Also common in 17c. as a verb. Rogue’s gallery “police collection of mug shots” is attested from 1859.

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