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[roo-ey, roo-ey] /ruˈeɪ, ˈru eɪ/
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)
profligate, libertine, lecher, cad, bounder, rakehell. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for roue
Historical Examples
  • How could it be other than a terrible thought for her that her daughter listened willingly to this roue?

    A Woman of Thirty Honore de Balzac
  • I was not prepared to find you grown from a roue into a senator.

    Pelham, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • When with the gambler, or the roue, he was equally at home—a debauchee, or a handler of cards.

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

    Richard Carvel, Complete Winston Churchill
  • He bade fair to be utterly used up and a roue, in a few years, if he were to continue at the pace at which he was going.

    The History of Pendennis William Makepeace Thackeray
  • The face that might have been handsome was the reflection of a roue, dashing, devilish.

    Graustark George Barr McCutcheon
  • He had been a roue in his youth, but seemed now the perfect representative of a benignant and virtuous old age.

    Sybil Benjamin Disraeli
  • "Not back to the home I left for the sake of a gambler and roue," she said, bitterly.

  • Vice does not form with them, as with the English roue, an occasional excess, but is consistent and regular in its habits.

British Dictionary definitions for roue


a debauched or lecherous man; rake
Word Origin
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
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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
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