Other forms: speculated; speculating; speculates

When you speculate, you use what you know to make a prediction about an outcome, like when you speculate that the injury of two key players will prevent your favorite team from going far in the playoffs this year.

The verb speculate has a specialized meaning in the world of finance — it means to take a financial risk in the hopes of monetary gain. For example, a business owner may speculate that a brand-new kind of frozen yogurt will be really popular, so she buys a huge order of it for her ice cream store. Someone who speculates goes looking for the next big thing, as seen in the word's Latin origin, speculatus, meaning "to spy out, examine."

Definitions of speculate
  1. verb
    reflect deeply on a subject
    “philosophers have speculated on the question of God for thousands of years”
    synonyms: chew over, contemplate, excogitate, meditate, mull, mull over, muse, ponder, reflect, ruminate, think over
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    think or reflect beforehand or in advance
    theologise, theologize
    make theoretical speculations about theology or discuss theological subjects
    reflect on one's own thoughts and feelings
    consider or ponder something carefully
    consider carefully and deeply; reflect upon; turn over in one's mind
    question, wonder
    place in doubt or express doubtful speculation
    be uncertain about; think about without fully understanding or being able to decide
    consider, study
    give careful consideration to
    factor, factor in, factor out
    consider as relevant when making a decision
    compare, equate, liken
    consider or describe as similar, equal, or analogous
    have doubts about
    type of:
    cerebrate, cogitate, think
    use or exercise the mind or one's power of reason in order to make inferences, decisions, or arrive at a solution or judgments
  2. verb
    talk over conjecturally, or review in an idle or casual way and with an element of doubt or without sufficient reason to reach a conclusion
    “We were speculating whether the President had to resign after the scandal”
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    guess, hazard, pretend, venture
    put forward, of a guess, in spite of possible refutation
    say, suppose
    express a supposition
    anticipate, call, forebode, foretell, predict, prognosticate, promise
    make a prediction about; tell in advance
    surmise, suspect
    imagine to be the case or true or probable
    type of:
    think logically
  3. verb
    believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds
    synonyms: conjecture, hypothecate, hypothesise, hypothesize, suppose, theorise, theorize
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    construct, reconstruct, retrace
    reassemble mentally
    develop, explicate, formulate
    elaborate, as of theories and hypotheses
    etymologise, etymologize
    construct the history of words
    develop and work out fully in one's mind
    redevelop, reformulate
    formulate or develop again, of an improved theory or hypothesis
    type of:
    anticipate, expect
    regard something as probable or likely
  4. verb
    invest at a risk
    “I bought this house not because I want to live in it but to sell it later at a good price, so I am speculating
    synonyms: job
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    try to raise the price of stocks through speculative buying
    type of:
    commit, invest, place, put
    make an investment
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘speculate'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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