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[spek-yuh-ley-tiv, -luh-tiv] /ˈspɛk yəˌleɪ tɪv, -lə tɪv/
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
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin speculātīvus. See speculate, -ive
Related forms
speculatively, adverb
speculativeness, noun
antispeculative, adjective
antispeculatively, adverb
antispeculativeness, noun
hyperspeculative, adjective
hyperspeculatively, adverb
hyperspeculativeness, noun
nonspeculative, adjective
nonspeculatively, adverb
nonspeculativeness, noun
overspeculative, adjective
overspeculatively, adverb
overspeculativeness, noun
semispeculative, adjective
semispeculatively, adverb
semispeculativeness, noun
unspeculative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for speculative
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Gladly, therefore, do we emerge from those soul-confusing labyrinths of speculative Radicalism, into somewhat clearer regions.

  • When the boy got through, he cast a speculative glance at the carpetbag.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • Brent, watching and listening with speculative curiosity, felt Tansley touch his arm.

    In the Mayor's Parlour J. S. (Joseph Smith) Fletcher
  • You must not get the foolish notion that any man has a speculative eye on me, because it is not true.

    Her Father's Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter
  • But, although the opportunity had come, the interest in speculative questions had sensibly declined.

    Principal Cairns John Cairns
British Dictionary definitions for speculative


relating to or characterized by speculation, esp financial speculation
Derived Forms
speculatively, adverb
speculativeness, 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
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Word Origin and History for speculative

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
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