Definition of speculate in English:


Syllabification: spec·u·late
Pronunciation: /ˈspekyəˌlāt


[no object]
  • 1Form a theory or conjecture about a subject without firm evidence: my colleagues speculate about my private life [with clause]: observers speculated that the authorities wished to improve their image
    More example sentences
    • Dr. Penney, in his evidence, speculated that the error was a typographical one.
    • Researchers speculated that organically grown plants are subject to more environmental challenges and therefore have stronger antioxidant defenses.
    • Some speculated that it was, because there was limited evidence that another race had existed there once.
  • 2Invest in stocks, property, or other ventures in the hope of gain but with the risk of loss: he didn’t look as though he had the money to speculate in stocks
    More example sentences
    • A hedge fund borrows money to speculate in the stock market.
    • Large capitalists can invest in government bonds, or they can speculate in stocks and commodities whose price is soaring due to the inflation.
    • Amidst his wife and the other two techies, he has no interest in this new technology, happier taking walks in the quarry by a ruined church than speculating on internet stocks.
    gamble on, take a risk on, venture in, wager on; invest in, play



Pronunciation: /-ˌlātər/
More example sentences
  • A railway boom and mania followed during the 1840s, with promoters and speculators planning lines all over Britain.
  • The year just ended was a prosperous one for stock market speculators and traders around the globe.
  • Further research revealed that he was not a farmer, but a major land speculator, merchant, or manufacturer.


late 16th century: from Latin speculat- 'observed from a vantage point', from the verb speculari, from specula 'watchtower', from specere 'to look'.

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Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little