Simple Definition of speculate
: to think about something and make guesses about it : to form ideas or theories about something usually when there are many things not known about it
: to invest money in ways that could produce a large profit but that also involve a lot of risk
Full Definition of speculate
1a : to meditate on or ponder a subject : reflectb : to review something idly or casually and often inconclusively
2 : to assume a business risk in hope of gain; especially : to buy or sell in expectation of profiting from market fluctuations
1 : to take to be true on the basis of insufficient evidence : theorize
2 : to be curious or doubtful about : wonder <speculates whether it will rain all vacation>
Examples of speculate
She could only speculate about her friend's motives.
He speculated as to whether she would come.
We don't know what happened—we can only speculate.
speculating on the stock market
Origin of speculate
Latin speculatus, past participle of speculari to spy out, examine, from specula lookout post, from specere to look, look at — more at spy
First Known Use: 1599
Synonym Discussion of speculate
think, cogitate, reflect, reason, speculate, deliberate mean to use one's powers of conception, judgment, or inference. think is general and may apply to any mental activity, but used alone often suggests attainment of clear ideas or conclusions <teaches students how to think>. cogitate implies deep or intent thinking <cogitated on the mysteries of nature>. reflect suggests unhurried consideration of something recalled to the mind <reflecting on fifty years of married life>. reason stresses consecutive logical thinking <able to reason brilliantly in debate>. speculate implies reasoning about things theoretical or problematic <speculated on the fate of the lost explorers>. deliberate suggests slow or careful reasoning before forming an opinion or reaching a conclusion or decision <the jury deliberated for five hours>.
Rhymes with speculate
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