1 a : to meditate on or ponder a subject : reflect
b : 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
3 : to take to be true on the basis of insufficient evidence : theorize
4 : to be curious or doubtful about : wonder
Did You Know?
Speculate was adopted into English in the late 16th century from Latin speculatus, the past participle of the verb speculari, which means "to spy out" or "to examine." Speculari, in turn, derives from specula, meaning "lookout post," and ultimately from the Latin verb specere, meaning "to look (at)." Other conspicuous descendants of specere are inspect and suspect. Some less obvious descendants are the words despise, species, specimen, and as you may have speculated, conspicuous.
"Both celebrities have been tweeting each other for a while now, leading fans to speculate about their relationship status." — Suzette Fernandez, Billboard.com, 5 June 2019
"Live footage showed that two hundred firefighters were attempting to tame the flames. Meanwhile talking heads droned on and on, speculating about the source of the spark that destroyed the cathedral's wooden roof and nave or how many billions it would cost to rebuild." — Christopher Schaefer, Commonweal, 17 May 2019
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Word Family Quiz
What English adjective is related to the Latin verb specere ("to look") and has the meaning "careful to consider all possible consequences"?VIEW THE ANSWER
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