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[spek-yuh-ley-tiv, -luh-tiv] /ˈspɛk yəˌleɪ tɪv, -lə tɪv/
pertaining to, of the nature of, or characterized by speculation, contemplation, conjecture, or abstract reasoning:
a speculative approach.
theoretical, rather than practical:
speculative conclusions.
given to speculation, as persons, the mind, etc.
of the nature of or involving commercial or financial speculation:
speculative ventures.
engaging in or given to such speculation.
Origin of speculative
First recorded in 1350-1400; Middle English word from Late Latin word speculātīvus. See speculate, -ive
Related forms
speculatively, adverb
speculativeness, noun
antispeculative, adjective
antispeculatively, adverb
antispeculativeness, noun
hyperspeculative, adjective
hyperspeculatively, adverb
hyperspeculativeness, noun
nonspeculative, adjective
nonspeculatively, adverb
nonspeculativeness, noun
overspeculative, adjective
overspeculatively, adverb
overspeculativeness, noun
semispeculative, adjective
semispeculatively, adverb
semispeculativeness, noun
unspeculative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for speculatively
Historical Examples
  • Baumberger eyed him speculatively while he smoked, and chuckled to himself.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • All this time his eyes were watching me shrewdly, speculatively.

    The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum
  • He replaced the pocket secretary and looked at me edgewise, speculatively.

    Measure for a Loner James Judson Harmon
  • He viewed Steve speculatively and then turned an appraising gaze on Tom.

    Left End Edwards Ralph Henry Barbour
  • "Suppose it was arranged that your debts be cancelled," Hawkes said speculatively.

    Starman's Quest Robert Silverberg
  • Toddles watched him go—kind of speculatively, kind of reproachfully.

  • “I believe it is,” said Dick speculatively, as he looked at her.

    Jewel Weed

    Alice Ames Winter
  • Eileen eyed him speculatively, then donned her best air of friendliness.

    Luna Escapade H. B. Fyfe
  • He leaned back in his chair and surveyed Kenwick speculatively.

    The Rest Hollow Mystery Rebecca N. Porter
  • speculatively his eyes ranged the vista up and down the block and opposite.

    Local Color Irvin S. Cobb
British Dictionary definitions for speculatively


relating to or characterized by speculation, esp financial speculation
Derived Forms
speculatively, adverb
speculativeness, noun
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 speculatively



late 14c., from Old French speculatif or directly from Late Latin speculativus, from past participle stem of speculari (see speculation). Related: Speculatively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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