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


academic (also academical), conjectural, hypothetical, suppositional, theoretical (also theoretic)


actual, factual, real

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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

Any future plans for the Duke and Duchess are speculative at this stage. Vogue, "Are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Planning a Grand Adventure with Baby Sussex?," 29 Apr. 2019 Okay, so this one's a bit more speculative, because this would be an enormous break from character. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Will Daenerys Turn Evil on 'Game of Thrones? Let's Dig Deep Into This Theory," 19 Apr. 2019 And Uruguay got the first shot, a speculative effort from Edinson Cavani from outside the box. Andrew Keh And Victor Mather, New York Times, "World Cup Heartbreak for Egypt as Salah Sits and Team Falls," 16 June 2018 In 2017, the cryptocurrency world seemed to be in the midst of a classic speculative bubble. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Bitcoin and ether are both down more than two-thirds from their peaks," 13 Aug. 2018 The deal seems speculative, as the Russian rocket industry is in flux as it is beset by outside competition and internal reliability problems. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Chinese tourism, launch by centrifuge, SLS the “right” rocket," 22 June 2018 But Gunn stressed that opining on potential bond-rating impacts is purely speculative at this point. Beau Evans, NOLA.com, "Sewerage & Water Board poised to seek risky audit extension," 5 June 2018 For a long time, taking her students to a book launch in the Bronx seemed like its own speculative fiction. Anne Branigin, Teen Vogue, "The Lit Bar Is the Bronx's New Bookstore Putting the Community First," 27 Mar. 2019 For more speculative companies, whose valuation is based on a belief that profits will grow rapidly for years, bullish analysts need to have a high long-term estimate to justify their lofty price targets. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "The Danger of Too Much Optimism," 30 Nov. 2018

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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Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

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

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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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Comments on speculative

What made you want to look up speculative? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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