the contemplation or consideration of some subject: to engage in speculation on humanity's ultimate destiny.
a single instance or process of consideration.
a conclusion or opinion reached by such contemplation: These speculations are impossible to verify.
conjectural consideration of a matter; conjecture or surmise: a report based on speculation rather than facts.
engagement in business transactions involving considerable risk but offering the chance of large gains, especially trading in commodities, stocks, etc., in the hope of profit from changes in the market price.
late 14c., "contemplation, consideration," from O.Fr. speculation, from L.L. speculationem (nom. speculatio) "contemplation, observation," from L. speculatus, pp. of speculari "observe," from specere "to look at, view" (see scope (1)). Disparaging sense of "mere conjecture"
is recorded from 1570s. Meaning "buying and selling in search of profit from rise and fall of market value" is recorded from 1774; short form spec is attested from 1794.