The Meaning of Rogue: What It Is and How To Use It

What does the word rogue mean, and how can it be used as different parts of speech in the English language? This article covers it all.

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The word rogue has several meanings. How can this word be used as a noun or an adjective? Keep reading to learn more about the origin of the word rogue, translations, synonyms, antonyms, and more.

What Does the Word Rogue Mean?

According to the Collins English Dictionary, rogue has several different meanings. As a noun, it can refer to a mischievous person or playful person, an unprincipled person, a knavish person, or a dishonest person. The pronunciation of rogue is rəʊɡ.

As an adjective, rogue can refer to a type of aggressive animal, an animal of vicious character, an animal of an unpredictable disposition, or an animal of similar disposition who is often a solitary animal. In horticulture, rogue refers to a worthless plant, unwanted plants, or seedlings. These can be like weeds or another inferior organism of an undesirable variation for pollination.  

How Can Rogue Be Used in a Sentence?

Rogue can be used as a noun or an adjective in many contexts. Being able to use a word like rogue as a noun or an adjective can be useful — if you only know the definition of rogue but not how to use it, it is not going to be very helpful in everyday life. Study these example sentences containing rogue, then try using it yourself!

The little rogue elephant wandered away from the main herd to go snack on the crop plant.

The rogue scientists collected the abnormal specimens of unknown origin to see if it was related to the false information from electors about the coronavirus.

The criminal became somewhat of a rogue heroine. While she was considered an unreliable person of an unwanted variety due to her fraud, she used her stealing to benefit those less fortunate.

The rogue, begging vagabond lived a solitary life among his group of plants. This wandering beggar was a mischievous scamp who lived outside Princeton University.

There were rogue ballots discovered by whistleblowers in the presidential election in Wisconsin and Nebraska.

The malicious software went rogue. This deceitful software infested the anti-spyware installation and turned off all of the desirable controls.

The rogue cop from Chattanooga had his desired standard outside of the normal and tried to arrest every wayward person he met. 

The youngest boys became tradesmen for the rogues’ gallery. Every day, right on schedule, they sold things for the counterfeit goods workshop.

What Are Translations of Rogue?

Languages around the world contain words for a rogue. If you need to refer to someone who is a criminal or a scoundrel in another language, referencing this list of translations for a rogue can be useful:

  • Chinese (PRC): 流氓
  • Bengali: রগ
  • Welsh: rogue
  • Indonesian: penipu
  • Malayalam: തെമ്മാല്
  • Croatian: skitnica
  • Hebrew: נוכל
  • Hungarian: gazember
  • Swahili: rogue
  • Basque: lotr
  • Turkish: haydut
  • Marathi: दुष्ट
  • Polish: łobuz
  • Portuguese (Portugal): Vampiro
  • Kannada: ರೋಗ್
  • Serbian: скитница
  • Vietnamese: giả mạo
  • Arabic: محتال
  • Latvian: blēdis
  • Italian: briccone
  • Catalan: mugada
  • Korean: 도적
  • Slovak: rogue
  • Bulgarian: резюме
  • Icelandic: fantur
  • Greek: κατεργάρης
  • Swedish: skurk
  • Telugu: రోగ్
  • Czech: darebák
  • Dutch: schurk
  • German: Schurke
  • Hindi: दुष्ट
  • Spanish: pícaro
  • Thai: คนโกง
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 流氓
  • Japanese: r r
  • Danish: Rogue
  • Tamil: முரட்டுத்தனமாக
  • Portuguese (Brazil): Vampiro
  • Finnish: rogue
  • Urdu: روگ
  • Norwegian: rogue
  • French: voyou
  • Ukrainian: шахрай
  • Gujarati: દુષ્ટ
  • Estonian: pettur
  • Russian: Изгой
  • Amharic: ብልሹነት

What Is the Etymology of Rogue?

Tthe word rogue has been used since 16th century Middle English. This might have come from the thieves’ slang term roger, which referred to a wandering beggar, sturdy beggar, or vagabond who pretended to be a poor student or scholar from a school like Cambridge or Oxford. This word originated from the Latin rogāre, meaning to ask. It could have also come from the Celtic or Breton rog, meaning haughty.

What Are Synonyms of the Word Rogue?

The word rogue has a specific connotation for a rapscallion scoundrel. However, what if you are trying to describe someone who is a criminal but not a scamp, or someone who is a scamp but not a criminal? In this case, you can use the synonym of rogue from Power Thesaurus that best suits your needs.

  • adventurer
  • bad boy
  • bad guy
  • bastard
  • beast
  • blackguard
  • blighter
  • bounder
  • brat
  • cad
  • charlatan
  • cheat
  • con artist
  • con man
  • creep
  • criminal
  • crook
  • cur
  • dastard
  • devil
  • dog
  • evildoer
  • fraud
  • fraudster
  • good-for-nothing
  • heel
  • hellion
  • hooligan
  • imp
  • idle vagrant
  • knave
  • louse
  • lowlife
  • malefactor
  • mischief-maker
  • miscreant
  • monkey
  • monster
  • ne’er-do-well
  • prankster
  • rapscallion
  • rascal
  • renegade
  • reprobate
  • rotter
  • ruffian
  • scalawag
  • scallywag
  • scamp
  • scapegrace
  • scoundrel
  • scumbag
  • shyster
  • snake
  • swindler
  • swine
  • thug
  • tramp
  • trickster
  • troublemaker
  • varlet
  • varmint
  • villain
  • wretch
  • wrongdoer

What Are Antonyms of the Word Rogue?

If a person you are describing is the opposite of a rogue or does not exhibit rogue behavior, you can describe them using an antonym of rogue from Power Thesaurus. Who do you know who you would consider a rogue? Who would be considered the opposite of a rogue?

  • acquit
  • angel
  • assoil
  • champion
  • darling
  • decent
  • dove
  • forthright
  • good egg
  • good guy
  • good person
  • great man
  • hero
  • heroine
  • honest
  • hotshot
  • lion
  • nice person
  • paragon
  • reliable person
  • sheep
  • spotlessness
  • star
  • straightforward
  • superhero
  • VIP
  • worthy


Overall, rogue can be used as either a noun or an adjective. As a noun, it refers to someone who is like a criminal, vagabond, or other types of wayward person. As an adjective, it can describe a person who does not have supervision or who does not have established laws.


  1. Rogue Synonyms | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Rogue antonyms – 611 Opposites of Rogue | Power Thesaurus 
  3. ​​Rogue definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary