speculate

[spek-yuh-leyt]
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; < 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

overspeculate, verb (used without object), overspeculated, overspeculating.
prespeculate, verb (used without object), prespeculated, prespeculating.
unspeculating, adjective


1. think, reflect, cogitate. 2. conjecture, guess, surmise, suppose, theorize.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
speculate (ˈspɛkjʊˌleɪt)
 
vb
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.  (NZ) (intr) rugby to make an emergency forward kick of the ball without taking any particular aim
 
[C16: from Latin speculārī to spy out, from specula a watchtower, from specere to look at]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

speculate
1590s, a back formation from speculation.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
Lunar water could be home-brewed, with some help from the sun, some scientists
  speculate.
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