[roo-ey, roo-ey]


a dissolute and licentious man; rake.

Origin of roué

1790–1800; < French, noun use of past participle of rouer to break on the wheel (derivative of roue wheel ≪ Latin rota); name first applied to the profligate companions of the Duc d'Orléans (c1720)

Synonyms for roué Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for roue

Historical Examples of roue

  • I was not prepared to find you grown from a roue into a senator.

    Pelham, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Mark me, doctor, Dorothy will not put up an instant with a roue and a brute.

    Richard Carvel, Complete

    Winston Churchill

  • When with the gambler, or the roue, he was equally at home—a debauchee, or a handler of cards.

    Ellen Walton

    Alvin Addison

  • The face that might have been handsome was the reflection of a roue, dashing, devilish.


    George Barr McCutcheon

  • Later the deserted admirer became again a roue inflamed with wine and submitted to a close-up that would depict his baffled rage.

    Merton of the Movies

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for roue



a debauched or lecherous man; rake

Word Origin for roué

C19: from French, literally: one broken on the wheel, from rouer, from Latin rotāre to revolve, from rota a wheel; with reference to the fate deserved by a debauchee
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for roue

"debauchee," 1800, from French roué "dissipated man, rake," originally past participle of Old French rouer "to break on the wheel" (15c.), from Latin rotare "roll" (see rotary). Said to have been first applied in French c.1720 to dissolute friends of the Duke of Orleans (regent of France 1715-23), to suggest the punishment they deserved; but probably rather from a secondary, figurative sense in French of "jaded, worn out," from the notion of "broken, run-over, beat down."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper