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.
a speculative commercial venture or undertaking.

1325–75; Middle English speculacioun < Late Latin speculātiōn- (stem of speculātiō) exploration, observation. See speculate, -ion

antispeculation, noun, adjective
nonspeculation, noun
overspeculation, noun
prespeculation, noun
semispeculation, noun

3. supposition, view, theory, hypothesis.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
speculation (ˌspɛkjʊˈleɪʃən)
1.  the act or an instance of speculating
2.  a supposition, theory, or opinion arrived at through speculating
3.  investment involving high risk but also the possibility of high profits

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Please use real science, not the current speculations on climate change.
Those initial speculations were confirmed by applying antibodies to the tissue
  that are known to react with proteins.
They would have the background and research experience to test the author's
He relies on a set of theories which themselves are speculations to make a
  speculation which he presents as inviolable truth.
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