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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 speculatively
Historical Examples
  • All this time his eyes were watching me shrewdly, speculatively.

    The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum
  • Baumberger eyed him speculatively while he smoked, and chuckled to himself.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • “I wonder if she sees what there is to the Camp Fire now,” said Dolly, speculatively.

    A Campfire Girl's Happiness Jane L. Stewart
  • He viewed Steve speculatively and then turned an appraising gaze on Tom.

    Left End Edwards Ralph Henry Barbour
  • "I dun'no' why folks be so 'feared of 'em," Rox-by remarked, speculatively.

    The Phantoms Of The Foot-Bridge Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)
  • Eileen eyed him speculatively, then donned her best air of friendliness.

    Luna Escapade H. B. Fyfe
  • Chas clung to the doorknob and continued to scowl, and studied Joe speculatively.

    Full-Back Foster Ralph Henry Barbour
  • He leaned back in his chair and surveyed Kenwick speculatively.

    The Rest Hollow Mystery Rebecca N. Porter
  • The sheepherder looked at him speculatively, with no trace of resentment in his mild eyes.

    The Fighting Shepherdess
    Caroline Lockhart
  • They looked at it speculatively from the other side of the field.

    The Long Dim Trail Forrestine C. Hooker
British Dictionary definitions for speculatively


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 speculatively



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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