[ spek-yuh-ler ]
/ ˈspɛk yə lər /


pertaining to or having the properties of a mirror.
pertaining to a speculum.
Optics. (of reflected light) directed, as from a smooth, polished surface (opposed to diffuse).

Origin of specular

1570–80; < Latin speculāris, equivalent to specul(um) a mirror (spec(ere) to look, regard + -ulum instrumental suffix; see -ule) + -āris -ar1
Related formsspec·u·lar·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for specular

British Dictionary definitions for specular


/ (ˈspɛkjʊlə) /


of, relating to, or having the properties of a mirrorspecular reflection
of or relating to a speculum
Derived Formsspecularly, adverb

Word Origin for specular

C16: from Latin speculāris, from speculum a mirror, 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

Word Origin and History for specular



1570s, of mirrors and glass, from Latin specularis, from speculum (see speculum). Of sight or vision, from 1650s, from Latin speculari "to spy" (see speculation).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper