- to engage in thought or reflection; meditate (often followed by on, upon, or a clause).
- to indulge in conjectural thought.
- 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; < 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for speculate on Thesaurus.com
1. think, reflect, cogitate. 2. conjecture, guess, surmise, suppose, theorize.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- (when tr, takes a clause as object) to conjecture without knowing the complete facts
- (intr) to buy or sell securities, property, etc, in the hope of deriving capital gains
- (intr) to risk loss for the possibility of considerable gain
- (intr) NZ rugby to make an emergency forward kick of the ball without taking any particular aim
C16: from Latin speculārī to spy out, from specula a watchtower, from specere to look at
Word Origin and History for overspeculate
1590s, back-formation from speculation. Related: Speculated; speculating.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper