[spek-yuh-ley-tiv, -luh-tiv]


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 formsspec·u·la·tive·ly, adverbspec·u·la·tive·ness, nounan·ti·spec·u·la·tive, adjectivean·ti·spec·u·la·tive·ly, adverban·ti·spec·u·la·tive·ness, nounhy·per·spec·u·la·tive, adjectivehy·per·spec·u·la·tive·ly, adverbhy·per·spec·u·la·tive·ness, nounnon·spec·u·la·tive, adjectivenon·spec·u·la·tive·ly, adverbnon·spec·u·la·tive·ness, nouno·ver·spec·u·la·tive, adjectiveo·ver·spec·u·la·tive·ly, adverbo·ver·spec·u·la·tive·ness, nounsem·i·spec·u·la·tive, adjectivesem·i·spec·u·la·tive·ly, adverbsem·i·spec·u·la·tive·ness, nounun·spec·u·la·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for speculatively

Historical Examples of speculatively

  • Baumberger eyed him speculatively while he smoked, and chuckled to himself.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • All this time his eyes were watching me shrewdly, speculatively.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • He replaced the pocket secretary and looked at me edgewise, speculatively.

    Measure for a Loner

    James Judson Harmon

  • He viewed Steve speculatively and then turned an appraising gaze on Tom.

    Left End Edwards

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • "Suppose it was arranged that your debts be cancelled," Hawkes said speculatively.

    Starman's Quest

    Robert Silverberg

British Dictionary definitions for speculatively



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 speculatively



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