spec·​u·​la·​tive | \ ˈspe-kyə-lə-tiv How to pronounce speculative (audio) , -ˌlā- \

Definition of speculative

1 : involving, based on, or constituting intellectual speculation also : theoretical rather than demonstrable speculative knowledge
2 : marked by questioning curiosity gave him a speculative glance
3 : of, relating to, or being a financial speculation speculative stocks speculative venture

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Other Words from speculative

speculatively adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for speculative



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Examples of speculative in a Sentence

His conclusions are highly speculative. a writer with a speculative mind a speculative boom in housing construction
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Recent Examples on the Web The new variant may be better at binding, or at eluding our immune response and replicating, or be able to better bind to locations in our body more conducive to infecting others, but that is all speculative for the moment. Zeynep Tufekci, The Atlantic, "The Mutated Virus Is a Ticking Time Bomb," 31 Dec. 2020 Yet the huge expansion of fracking in recent years – making America energy independent and opening up new export markets – was achieved through large-scale, speculative investment and borrowing, against the promise of long-term profit. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, "In shift to green energy, a matter of when, not if," 28 Oct. 2020 Instead, this Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence. William A. Galston, WSJ, "Republicans Are Souring on Trump’s Antics," 24 Nov. 2020 Hedge funds and other speculative investors have lifted net bets on higher U.S. crude prices in four consecutive weeks through Dec. 1, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show, signaling more optimism filtering through the market. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Brent Crude Rises Above $50 as Oil’s Turnaround Continues," 10 Dec. 2020 This is speculative, though, and understanding what's actually happening will require far more data. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine shows success: Here’s how it stacks up to others," 23 Nov. 2020 Yet all of the claims of fraud made Tuesday were speculative. Jeremy Roebuck, Anchorage Daily News, "Rudy Giuliani and Trump’s last-stand push to overturn Pa.’s election results get a frosty reception in court," 18 Nov. 2020 All in the name of impounding that excess credit then flowing to speculative asset markets and redirecting it to actual productive investment: investment that fuels the production of real, not paper, wealth. Robert Hockett, The New Republic, "Why Joe Biden Can Stop Worrying and Start Spending Like Crazy," 1 Dec. 2020 While those questions remain, Bitcoin is now being fueled by a less speculative fever. New York Times, "Bitcoin Hits New Record, This Time With Less Talk of a Bubble," 30 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'speculative.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of speculative

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for speculative

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The first known use of speculative was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Speculative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/speculative. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for speculative


How to pronounce speculative (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of speculative

: based on guesses or ideas about what might happen or be true rather than on facts
: tending to think about what might happen or be true : tending to speculate
: showing curiosity or uncertainty


spec·​u·​la·​tive | \ ˈspe-kyə-lə-tiv, -ˌlā- How to pronounce speculative (audio) \

Legal Definition of speculative

1 : involving, based on, or constituting intellectual speculation also : theoretical rather than demonstrable speculative medical testimony concerning the cause of death
2 : of, relating to, or being a financial speculation speculative securities speculative home building

Other Words from speculative

speculatively adverb

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