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speculate

[spek-yuh-leyt] /ˈspɛk yəˌleɪt/
verb (used without object), speculated, speculating.
1.
to engage in thought or reflection; meditate (often followed by on, upon, or a clause).
2.
to indulge in conjectural thought.
3.
to engage in any business transaction involving considerable risk or the chance of large gains, especially to buy and sell commodities, stocks, etc., in the expectation of a quick or very large profit.
Origin of speculate
1590-1600
1590-1600; < Latin speculātus, past participle of speculārī to watch over, explore, reconnoiter, derivative of specula watch tower, noun derivative of specere to look, regard; see -ate1
Related forms
overspeculate, verb (used without object), overspeculated, overspeculating.
prespeculate, verb (used without object), prespeculated, prespeculating.
unspeculating, adjective
Synonyms
1. think, reflect, cogitate. 2. conjecture, guess, surmise, suppose, theorize.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for speculate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "He had no right to speculate with my mother's money," said Robert, indignantly.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • She no longer feared the senator, but she refused to speculate upon what Chip might do.

    Chip, of the Flying U B. M. Bower
  • He had no time to speculate further, for Dr. Hardman entered at that moment.

    Frank Roscoe's Secret Allen Chapman
  • You will have to take lessons from me, and go on the market and speculate yourself.'

    A Woman Intervenes Robert Barr
  • I want you to give me some money for myself—to speculate with.'

    A Woman Intervenes Robert Barr
British Dictionary definitions for speculate

speculate

/ˈspɛkjʊˌleɪt/
verb
1.
(when transitive, takes a clause as object) to conjecture without knowing the complete facts
2.
(intransitive) to buy or sell securities, property, etc, in the hope of deriving capital gains
3.
(intransitive) to risk loss for the possibility of considerable gain
4.
(intransitive) (NZ, rugby) to make an emergency forward kick of the ball without taking any particular aim
Word Origin
C16: from Latin speculārī to spy out, from specula a watchtower, from specere to look at
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 speculate
v.

1590s, back-formation from speculation. Related: Speculated; speculating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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13
17
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