[ 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for speculative

British Dictionary definitions for speculative


/ (ˈspɛkjʊlətɪv) /


relating to or characterized by speculation, esp financial speculation
Derived Formsspeculatively, adverbspeculativeness, 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

Word Origin and History for speculative



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