View synonyms for speculate


[ spek-yuh-leyt ]

verb (used without object)

, spec·u·lat·ed, spec·u·lat·ing.
  1. to engage in thought or reflection; meditate (often followed by on, upon, or a clause).

    Synonyms: cogitate, reflect, think

  2. to indulge in conjectural thought.

    Synonyms: theorize, suppose, surmise, guess, conjecture

  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.


/ ˈspɛkjʊˌleɪt /


  1. when tr, takes a clause as object to conjecture without knowing the complete facts
  2. intr to buy or sell securities, property, etc, in the hope of deriving capital gains
  3. intr to risk loss for the possibility of considerable gain
  4. intr rugby to make an emergency forward kick of the ball without taking any particular aim

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Other Words From

  • over·specu·late verb (used without object) overspeculated overspeculating
  • pre·specu·late verb (used without object) prespeculated prespeculating
  • un·specu·lating adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of speculate1

First recorded in 1590–1600; from Latin speculātus “watched over,” past participle of speculārī “to watch over, explore, reconnoiter,” verb derivative of specula “watchtower,” noun derivative of specere “to look, regard, see”

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Word History and Origins

Origin of speculate1

C16: from Latin speculārī to spy out, from specula a watchtower, from specere to look at

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Example Sentences

Erosion may have partly worn away what was originally a circular earthwork, the researchers speculate.

However, some of those people also speculate Apple may have plans to build a bigger ads business of its own.

From Digiday

In the face of sustained hardship, which has the potential to encourage dangerously high levels of cortisol, a weak stress response — that is, producing less cortisol — could be “nature’s way of preserving the brain and body,” Gunnar speculates.

Scientists have to speculate, which could go one of two or three ways, or maybe some way they haven’t seen yet.

So a weak stress response could be “nature’s way of preserving the brain and body,” Gunnar now speculates.

“Hence, there might be a net benefit, at least to some females, of breeding within the natal group,” the researchers speculate.

We can only speculate as to the intentions behind these ambiguous words.

Forgács did not care to speculate, repeatedly and vehemently claiming that he is not a political artist.

I hesitate to speculate on exactly where the problem is, though after spending some time with the paper I have my suspicions.

Some doctors speculate they are generated in the spinal cord.

There were more subtle changes in him which it was too warm and dusty to speculate upon at the moment.

Perhaps it was in the bottle of brandy that the peril lay; perhaps—but why speculate further!

It was not a folly, in a rude age, to speculate on the first or fundamental principle of things.

But there is no need to speculate on what might be, when we have positive and certain knowledge of what has been.

But he snarled up at me like a startled animal, and I was obliged to go to bed and toss about and speculate.


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