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 Happily, there is no evidence of a speculative bubble on a par with that in housing back then. The Economist, "For how long can today’s global economic expansion last?," 12 July 2019 Blame Satoshi, Bitcoin’s creator, or policymakers who haven’t worked out how to control speculative asset bubbles anywhere, let alone crypto’s. Washington Post, "Bitcoin at $10,000 Is About More Than Mark Zuckerberg," 24 June 2019 Stockdale is working toward a major speculative project — turning Horton Plaza into a tech campus. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego developers wonder when boom time will end," 19 June 2019 This makes them immune to the whims of national governments but also makes them prone to speculative bubbles and flash crashes. Jay L. Zagorsky, The Conversation, "Facebook claims Libra offers economic empowerment to billions – an economist is skeptical," 18 June 2019 Defense attorney Brent Nistler moved to prohibit Kintz's testimony as unreliable and speculative, and accused the state of adding inferences to Kintz's 2015 report. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Operator of former Cedarburg fondue restaurant may have drugged more than 20 young women, prosecutor says," 14 Nov. 2019 This isn’t just a speculative political understanding of the controversial president or his philanthropic habits; there’s evidence of his selfishness. Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Know, "Artist Anuar Maauad is giving away 100 editions of this artwork to Denverites, but there’s a catch," 11 Nov. 2019 This assumption is highly inaccurate, purely speculative and has been disproven by the numerous successes of African-American students in elementary, middle and high schools throughout Howard County. baltimoresun.com, "Letters: Redistricting schools won’t address low test scores; and more from readers," 5 Nov. 2019 Black speculative fiction was coalescing into a movement, and Butler’s vision made her the movement leader. Tananarive Due, Essence, "Inside My 90-Minute Visit With Octavia Butler," 4 Oct. 2019

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for speculative

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Speculative.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/speculative. Accessed 8 December 2019.

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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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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).


to constrict the range or activity of

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