Definition of roué in English:



  • A debauched man, especially an elderly one.

    ‘he had lived the life of a roué in the fleshpots of London and Paris’
    • ‘The story centres on Sarah Wode-Douglass, a poetry editor enticed to steaming 1970s Kuala Lumpur by a literary roué who she suspects is implicated in her mother's death.’
    • ‘The mobsters and grifters and roués of the demimonde didn't have a college degree; they had money and juice.’
    • ‘His date turned out to be an utterly delightful 24-year-old, who warmed to my charms and made me feel like a right roué.’
    • ‘The roué can't produce the heroic memoir that's expected of him, and smoke-free Vancouver, with its vegetarians and sexual-harassment policies, is not the haven he hoped for.’
    • ‘He must also have looked into the mirror when he considered the great roué, whose smooth approach and good looks make him a master of seduction.’
    • ‘He saw a country ruled by an ageing roué, with demonic powers of mass hypnosis and a leaning towards Communist China.’
    • ‘Isabelle arrives accompanied by her silly and pretentious mother and Romainville, a middle-aged roué and friend.’
    • ‘He was seen as ‘passionate, greedy and vindictive’ by another Italian, the Siennese roué, who visited him in 1435.’
    • ‘Newman's powerful onscreen presence makes him a charming roué; he slips on the role with professional ease, bringing an offhand sexiness to his role.’
    • ‘Always ‘in character’ as the self-appointed roué, Jerome's encounters with women are strangely enervated events.’
    • ‘She enters to kibosh her son's prospects, only to be told, when the family facts emerge, that she should marry the high-born roué who has ruined her.’
    • ‘It is like a roué making a renewed vow of total, absolute, unconditional marital fidelity but asking for a 10 year grace period for the transition to it.’
    • ‘Are there mitigating circumstances, or just a middle-aged roué's glib excuses?’
    • ‘Was that bifocaled roué on TV last night actually Grampa Butcher himself?’
    • ‘If he stars in the operetta, he would no doubt cast himself as an endlessly bumbling, ageing roué.’
    • ‘Besides Cohn, there was Claudius Charles Philippe, a suave, thrice-married roué eighteen years Walters' senior.’
    libertine, rake, debauchee, dissolute man, loose-liver, degenerate, profligate
    View synonyms


Early 19th century French, literally ‘broken on a wheel’, referring to the instrument of torture thought to be deserved by such a person.