I have searched a lot of dictionaries but still I can't understand the exact meaning of roguish in the text below.

"Ah, that's so, that's so!" Louisa said. "And what was it in my case but vanity, which deserves to get slapped down!" Her eyes were glassy and her expression roguish. "You don't think he'd had a good look at me any one time and thought the original was even worse than that poor picture, so he backed off?"

"casting away" by Alice Munro

Please tell me, What kind of a look is the writer trying to depict with "...and her expression roguish"?

  • 1
    I believe that this roguish can be read as kind of rouge. I didn't read the book so I'm not sure which sense of rouge should be used, but mainly it means either dishonest, unpredictable, or defective. Mar 5, 2014 at 17:19
  • 2
    @DamkerngT. You want "rogue" there, not "rouge". Rouge is the French word for "red" and also used in English as another word for lipstick.
    – hairboat
    Mar 5, 2014 at 17:22
  • Thank you Abby and Damkerng. I think "unpredictable" doesn't fit there. She has been betrayed and also she is drunk so I think it could be either "defective" or "dishonest".
    – user3214
    Mar 5, 2014 at 17:44
  • I am not sure about "dishonest" either because she is telling the truth and also she is the victim, so why would the writer mean that?
    – user3214
    Mar 5, 2014 at 17:50

1 Answer 1


Like a rogue. We'd need more context to know for sure, but the intent seems to be either "immoral" or "causing mischief." Glassy eyes suggests the speaker is drunk or on drugs?

  • Thank you, I think both of your suggestions are good. By the way would you please tell me if this is a common word nowadays?
    – user3214
    Mar 5, 2014 at 18:13
  • 2
    @GATA It is still in use, though not as much to refer to people. Think of the term "rogue state" (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_state ) A common pickpocket or mugger would not be referred to as a rogue in the 21st century.
    – relaxing
    Mar 5, 2014 at 18:17
  • @relaxing Could you put the definitions in your answer? Because links don't last forever!
    – nxx
    Mar 6, 2014 at 1:17
  • A rogue is a free thinking mischief maker, (s)he's charming, I wouldn't think of the word "immoral". Think Han Solo. Mar 8, 2014 at 18:29
  • Han Solo had his immoral moments -- smuggling suspicious packages for a gangster, concerned only with monetary reward for rescuing the princess. (He later redeems himself, yes.)
    – relaxing
    Mar 12, 2014 at 20:08

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