[ spek-yuh-leyt ]
/ ˈspɛk yəˌleɪt /
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See synonyms for: speculate / speculated / speculating on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object), spec·u·lat·ed, spec·u·lat·ing.

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.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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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


o·ver·spec·u·late, verb (used without object), o·ver·spec·u·lat·ed, o·ver·spec·u·lat·ing.pre·spec·u·late, verb (used without object), pre·spec·u·lat·ed, pre·spec·u·lat·ing.un·spec·u·lat·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for speculate

British Dictionary definitions for speculate

/ (ˈspɛkjʊˌleɪt) /


(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

Word Origin for speculate

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