Synonym Chooser

How is the word speculate different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of speculate are cogitate, deliberate, reason, reflect, and think. While all these words mean "to use one's powers of conception, judgment, or inference," speculate implies reasoning about things theoretical or problematic.

speculated on the fate of the lost explorers

When can cogitate be used instead of speculate?

In some situations, the words cogitate and speculate are roughly equivalent. However, cogitate implies deep or intent thinking.

cogitated on the mysteries of nature

When would deliberate be a good substitute for speculate?

The synonyms deliberate and speculate are sometimes interchangeable, but deliberate suggests slow or careful reasoning before forming an opinion or reaching a conclusion or decision.

the jury deliberated for five hours

Where would reason be a reasonable alternative to speculate?

Although the words reason and speculate have much in common, reason stresses consecutive logical thinking.

able to reason brilliantly in debate

When might reflect be a better fit than speculate?

While the synonyms reflect and speculate are close in meaning, reflect suggests unhurried consideration of something recalled to the mind.

reflecting on fifty years of married life

In what contexts can think take the place of speculate?

The meanings of think and speculate largely overlap; however, 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


Thesaurus Entries Near speculate

Cite this Entry

“Speculate.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on speculate

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