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speculate

[spek-yuh-leyt] /ˈspɛk yəˌleɪt/
verb (used without object), speculated, speculating.
1.
to engage in thought or reflection; meditate (often followed by on, upon, or a clause).
2.
to indulge in conjectural thought.
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.
Origin
1590-1600
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
Related forms
overspeculate, verb (used without object), overspeculated, overspeculating.
prespeculate, verb (used without object), prespeculated, prespeculating.
unspeculating, adjective
Synonyms
1. think, reflect, cogitate. 2. conjecture, guess, surmise, suppose, theorize.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for speculate
  • What would have been its course had the war not occurred it is perhaps fruitless to speculate.
  • Other paleontologists speculate feathers first evolved to retain heat.
  • One might speculate that some forms of government support have been more helpful and less destructive than others.
  • But it is also tempting to speculate about whether he really was a suicide.
  • Lunar water could be home-brewed, with some help from the sun, some scientists speculate.
  • Widespread famine and disease would likely follow, experts speculate.
  • After the de-fleshing process, the corpses had been neatly laid to rest on wide wooden shelves, the researchers speculate.
  • The researchers did not speculate as to the physiologic mechanism by which the exercise program was helpful.
  • Some observers speculate that as the civilian power structure weakens, the army will play a larger role.
  • The researchers speculate that writing about one's values can kick off a chain reaction.
British Dictionary definitions for speculate

speculate

/ˈspɛkjʊˌleɪt/
verb
1.
(when transitive, takes a clause as object) to conjecture without knowing the complete facts
2.
(intransitive) to buy or sell securities, property, etc, in the hope of deriving capital gains
3.
(intransitive) to risk loss for the possibility of considerable gain
4.
(intransitive) (NZ, rugby) to make an emergency forward kick of the ball without taking any particular aim
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for speculate
v.

1590s, back-formation from speculation. Related: Speculated; speculating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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